The Univeristy of Melbourne The Royal Melbourne Hopspital

A joint venture between The University of Melbourne and The Royal Melbourne Hospital

Professor Karen Day

Professor Karen Day

Professor Karen Day

(03) 8344 7644 |

Laboratory Head
Immunology, Bacterial and Parasitic Infections
Computational Science and Genomics, Global Health, Public Health
Department of Microbiology and Immunology (DMI)
Lab Group(s):
Day Group

Professor Karen Day is a distinguished malaria researcher dedicated to improving global health. Born in Melbourne, she was educated at the University of Melbourne and completed her PhD studies in molecular parasitology at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute. Her research has described the diversity of malaria parasites globally to improve disease surveillance and control. She has extensive international experience leading field studies in malaria endemic areas of East, West and Southern Africa, India, Southeast Asia, Papua New Guinea and South America. She is a founder of the scientific discipline of genomic epidemiology studying malaria parasite variation in humans and mosquitos by combining laboratory, field and computational approaches.

  • Key Achievements
    • Following her postdoctoral research, Professor 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. In 2004 she moved to New York University School of Medicine where she held several senior academic roles including Chair of the Department of Medical Parasitology. From 2014 -2019 Professor Day was the Dean of Science at The University of Melbourne. She was made Redmond Barry Distinguished Professor for research distinction and leadership. She now continues to run her malaria research group in the Bio21 Institute at the University of Melbourne.

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    Research Groups
    • Day Group

      Professor Karen Day runs a malaria research group studying the role that human variation and parasite diversity play in modulating the dynamics of chronic infection. She is also interested in the ability of malaria parasites to sense their environment by quorum sensing mechanisms to regulate parasite population in the bloodstream.

      Lab Team

      Day Group

      • Professor Karen Day
      • Research Fellow
      • Samantha Deed
        Research Assistant
      • Dr Mun Hua Tan
        Research Fellow
      • Dr Sanjay Gautam
        Research Fellow
      • Cecilia Rios Teran
        PhD student
      • Dionne Argyropoulos
        PhD student