Q&A with Dr Diana Karamacoska

15 May 2023 

A Q&A with Dr Karamacoska on her career, new challenges ahead and some of the topics her team will work on in 2023 and beyond. Dr Diana Karamacoska is a Research Support Program Fellow, Healthy Ageing at NICM Health Research Institute. She joined the Institute in 2019 as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow working in the area of dementia. Her research aims to improve quality of life for older adults, particularly those affected by dementia, using interdisciplinary approaches that span lifestyle, medical, sociocultural, and environmental initiatives.

What drew you to complementary and integrative medicine research?

I am a strong believer in holistic health and integrative medicine makes that happen. An individual’s health and well-being has many dimensions, and integrative medicine considers it from all angles, taking into account an individual’s history, culture and socioeconomic background, and the society in which they grew up and live in.

What do you love about research?

What don’t I love?! Research trains the brain to examine important questions that affect people, their health and wellbeing, and communities, and gives us the opportunity to answer or solve problems that no one else has answered.

What brought you to NICM HRI?

The opportunity to work and learn with inspiring leaders in their fields and use your skills to contribute to integrative medicine research.

What are you currently working on?

A multicultural dementia initiative that brings together the lived experiences of caregivers, health and allied professionals from diverse backgrounds and communities to co-design an educational program. This will be the first of its kind attempted in Australia.

What is your next project?

Upscaling my current project and delivering it to different communities.

What has been the most rewarding research project in your career so far?

Establishing the Canterbury Bankstown Dementia Friendly Community. This project will help raise awareness and reduce stigma about dementia. What was especially rewarding was the friendships I made in these communities and the opportunity to learn what good health and overall wellness meant to them.

What has been the best career advice you’ve ever received?

Surround yourself with people who have the same work ethic as you who will lift you up inside and outside the room.

What is your favourite aspect of your role?  

Learning what holistic health encompasses and means to people, and incorporating these into their lives, rather than imposing our views of health.