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.
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.