Infectious Diseases Scientist
Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Diana discovered her passion for research at the age of 15, when she was an active participant of her high-school science club. After completing her Bachelor in Biological Sciences with First Class Honours at the University of Buenos Aires, Diana started her PhD studies on immune responses to Trypanosoma cruzi in the context of a collaborative program between the National Institute of Parasitology in Argentina and the National Veterinary Institute in Uppsala, Sweden.
Diana turned to malaria research during her postdoctoral training at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute, Melbourne, Australia, where she established an internationally recognised program to investigate inflammatory responses responsible for the induction of severe malaria. Diana is now a Laboratory Head in the Division at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute and Senior Research Fellow at the Department of Medicine in The University of Melbourne. She has established an international translational research program to uncover mechanisms of immunity and pathogenesis of malaria and dengue fever and she is pursuing those goals using both pre-clinical infection models as well as human studies in malaria endemic areas. Diana’s research is primarily funded by the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council, and the Australian Academy of Science.
Capacity Building Mentor
Through the collaborations with colleagues in malaria and dengue endemic countries, Diana has organised several exchange programs, including sabbatical training visits at her laboratory in Melbourne, as well as members of the Hansen Lab travelling overseas to deliver courses, lectures and run workshops.
These activities are supported by different funding agencies including WIPO: Bio-ventures for Global Health and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade from the Australian Government.
Field Hockey Enthusiast
Juggling long hours in the laboratory with her family commitments, Diana recognises the importance of maintaining a healthy work-life balance. Outside the lab, Diana has played field hockey since her high-school years (and still does!).
Diana now also enjoys her role as a hockey manager and administrator by heading the Women’s Unit of Waverley Hockey Club in Melbourne, one of the biggest Premier League Clubs of the state of Victoria.
Gender Equity Advocate
Diana started carrying about gender inequality as she was advancing her career in biomedical research and noticing how poorly women are represented in leadership positions. Her passion to propel talented women to leadership roles and to be part of decision-making processes has driven Diana to participate in various gender equity forums.
Diana is a member of the Walter & Eliza Hall Institute Gender Equity Committee, she sits at City of Monash Gender Equity Advisory Committee, which is gives her the opportunity to participate in discussions to further gender equity policies at a broader community level and she is also a member of the Hockey Victoria “Change our Game” Ambassadors Group, a committee dedicated to improve female participation in sports management and administration.
Who doesn’t love these highly-intelligent, social and loyal family dogs!
Meet Becca, who is trying to help Diana with that difficult grant application…