Alana De Luca
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Alana De Luca

Tassie Devil’s Advocate

College of Health and Medicine,
University of Tasmania

I didn’t always want to be a scientist, but I always like asking questions. I grew up in Western Australia and while I was in high school, I discovered that my favourite kinds of questions were ones to do with how the body fights different diseases. Since then, I have studied why some babies are born too early, why people’s brains break down, and early in 2019 I moved to Tasmania to study why the Tassie Devil population is being plagued by super weird cancer, called Tasmanian Devil Facial Tumour Disease.

Tassie Devils are the world’s biggest meat-eating marsupial. They are only found on our little island of Tasmania and their closest relatives haven’t existed in about 11,000 years! Part of my job is to hang out with the little dudes, but I also spend time in the lab, playing with chemicals that glow different colours under a blue light, and growing all the things my mum would yell at me for if she found them growing in old mugs in my room!

Follow me on Twitter at @deluca_alana


Find out more about what’s going on with the devils:

For more information about immunology research: