Karen Day is a distinguished malaria geneticist dedicated to improving global health using her scientific training. Born in Melbourne, she was educated at the University of Melbourne and completed her PhD studies at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute. She had the “life changing” opportunity of studying the public health problems of Papua New Guineans as a young postdoctoral researcher. This experience led her to strengthen her computational biology training as applied to public health at Imperial College and the University of Oxford.
She has had a diverse career as a scholar and academic administrator in both science and medicine in the UK, US and Australia. Highlights include being recruited to University of Oxford in 1993 where she was soon promoted to Professor for her scholarship and leadership. She was appointed Fellow of Hertford College becoming one of the few women “dons” in science at Oxford. In 2004 Professor Day moved to New York University School of Medicine where she held several senior academic administrative roles including Chair of the Department of Medical Parasitology; Director of the Institute of Urban and Global Health, and Director of a Masters Program in Global Public Health. She joined the University of Melbourne in 2014 as Dean of Science to lead Australia’s premier Science Faculty. In addition, she continues to run a malaria research group based in the Bio21 Institute and School of BioSciences.
Professor Day is an expert on higher education as well as malaria. She is passionate about science and solving problems in global health.