Congratulations to Professor Karen Day AM


Bio21’s Professor Karen Day has been honoured with a Member (AM) in the general division in the Australia Day Awards for significant service to science education, and to global public health.

Professor Karen Day AM is a distinguished malaria researcher dedicated to the improvement of global health. Born in Melbourne, she was educated at University of Melbourne where she obtained her BSc (Hons) with a double major in microbiology/biochemistry and a PhD in Molecular Parasitology from the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research (WEHI). As a young postdoctoral researcher, she had the “life changing” opportunity to study the public health problems of Papua New Guineans working at the Papua New Guinea Institute of Medical Research. Following her postdoctoral research, Prof. Day held positions in molecular epidemiology at Imperial College, London and in the Department of Zoology at the University of Oxford. She was appointed a Fellow of Hertford College in 2003, becoming one of the few women “dons” in science at Oxford. She was a Founding Partner of both the Wellcome Trust Centre for the Epidemiology of Infectious Disease (WTCEID) and the interdisciplinary Peter Medawar Pathogen Evolution Research Centre at Oxford, during which time she was appointed a Visiting Professor at the Harvard School of Public Health.

In 2004 she moved to New York University School of Medicine where she held several senior academic administrative roles at NYU including Chair of the Department of Medical Parasitology; Director of the Institute of Urban and Global Health; and led the development of a Masters Program in Global Public Health.

In 2014 - 2019 Prof. Day held the office of the Dean of Science at The University of Melbourne. She continues to be actively involved in running a multidisciplinary malaria research group in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the Bio21 Institute whose aim is to understand the transmission of malaria to better define control strategies.

We are very proud to have Professor Karen Day AM, at the Bio21 Institute, where she continues to advance the field of malaria epidemiology and train the next generation of malaria scientists.