Dr Karen Hawke – Doctor of Philosophy

Flinders University are very proud to congratulate Dr Karen Hawke on recently completing her PhD in Philosophy.

The body of work she contributed during this PhD explored and characterised the diversity of the HIV virus, both in itself as a virus and within the HIV infected population. Most notably, Karen showed how the virus has mutated over time through the importation of complex strains into Australia and her work has the potential to inform future public health strategies for prevention and treatment of complex viruses.

On the completion of her PhD, Karen described how the Public Health PhD program provided her with excellent doctoral training to prepare her for a successful career in academia. She recognised both of her supervisors within and external to Flinders as invested in shaping her research capacity as well as committed to supporting her research vision to traverse multiple scientific disciplines: she talks about her belief that collaborative research will be the way of the future. Interdisciplinary scientists with laboratory backgrounds combined with public health knowledge offer a unique skill set; they identify how different fields of science can work together to solve problems, and can translate complex findings into understandable language for a diverse population of people which leads to improved health and wellbeing.

Dr Hawke was also recently featured in The Advertiser regarding her life and work as an ambassador for Common Ground, who work with low-income earners including those who have experienced homelessness, that need support to get back on their feet. Now holding a postdoctoral position in Aboriginal maternal and child health at the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI), we look forward to the public health research she is able to contribute to over the coming years!




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