black/ white headshot of Hanna Lucia Worliczek

Hanna Lucia Worliczek

Postdoctoral Scholar (Okt 2022-Sep 2025)

Dr. Dr.

Hanna Lucia Worliczek is a historian of the life sciences and biomedicine, and a microbiologist. Since October 2022 she is a postdoctoral scholar in the research group “Practices of Validation in the Biomedical Sciences” at the MPIWG. Her current research focuses on the history of validation practices associated with the laboratory diagnosis of human toxoplasmosis since the 1940s. She particularly addresses dynamics at the intersection of and translation between the realms of basic science, laboratory medicine, clinical practice, and public health.

Hanna studied microbiology at the University of Vienna, obtaining her doctorate in 2010 with a dissertation on the immune response to a protozoan infection in pigs. After a four-year postdoc in veterinary parasitology, Hanna pursued her doctoral studies in history of science at the University of Vienna and completed it in 2020 with a thesis on the history of immunofluorescence microscopy as an epistemic tool of cell biologists. Before starting as a postdoctoral scholar at the MPIWG, Hanna was a research associate at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole with Jane Maienschein and afterwards an associate fellow of the Department of History (University of Vienna) with a research scholarship of the Gerda Henkel Foundation, investigating the history of descriptive research in cell biology. As a guest researcher at the MPIWG she conducted a study on the history of cell biology within the Max Planck Society, which was recently published. As a visiting scholar, she conducted her research at the Department for History and Philosophy of Science, University of Cambridge, at the Chair for the History of Science, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, the Department of Science Communication and Higher Education Research, Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt, and the Department of Philosophy, University of Vienna.

In 2019 Hanna received the interdisciplinary Bader Award for the History of the Natural Sciences of the Austrian Academy of Sciences and in 2021 she was awarded the Grete Mostny Dissertation Prize of the Faculty of Historical and Cultural Studies, University of Vienna. Drawing from her previous expertise as a microbiologist, Hanna links historiography and historical epistemology with current debates in the life sciences and biomedicine, with an emphasis on visual cultures, molecularization, epistemic practices, validation, and associated values in the twentieth century. Currently she is writing her first monograph with the tentative title Molecularizing Cell Morphology. Beside her research project on the history of toxoplasmosis diagnostics, her interest in historiographic practices is reflected by her work in the Commoning Biomedicine project at the MPIWG and the preparation of a special issue on research interviews in the history of science and medicine (together with Alfred Freeborn, expected for 2025).


Features and Digital Resources


Commoning Biomedicine: Networking Decentralized Collections of Oral Histories


Validating Laboratory Diagnostics in Medical Parasitology: Morphological and Molecularized Approaches between Clinical, Epistemic, and Political Interests


No projects were found for this scholar.

Selected Publications

Worliczek, Hanna Lucia (2024). “Zellbiologische Forschung.” In Die Max-Planck-Gesellschaft: Wissenschafts- und Zeitgeschichte 1945–2005, ed. J. Renn, C. Reinhardt, J. Kocka, F. Schmaltz, B. Kolboske, J. Balcar, and A. von Schwerin, 362–378. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht.

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Worliczek, Hanna Lucia (2022). “Review of: Lyons, Sherrie L.: From Cells to Organisms: Re-envisioning Cell Theory. Toronto: University of Toronto Press 2020.” History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 44 (Article 8).

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Worliczek, Hanna Lucia (2022). “How Many Individuals Consider Themselves to Be Cell Biologists but Are Informed by the Journal That Their Work Is Not Cell Biology.” Berichte zur Wissenschaftsgeschichte 45 (3): 344–354.

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Gubbels, Marc-Jan, Caroline D. Keroack, Sriveny Dangoudoubiyam, Hanna Lucia Worliczek, Aditya S. Paul, Ciara Bauwens, Brendan Elsworth, Klemens Engelberg, Daniel K. Howe, Isabelle Coppens, and Manoj T. Duraisingh (2020). “Fussing About Fission: Defining Variety Among Mainstream and Exotic Apicomplexan Cell Division Modes.” Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology 10 (Article 269).

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Worliczek, Hanna Lucia (2020). “Wege zu einer molekularisierten Bildgebung. Eine Geschichte der Immunfluoreszenzmikroskopie als visuelles Erkenntnisinstrument der modernen Zellbiologie (1959–1980).” PhD Thesis. Vienna: University of Vienna.

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Past Events

Presentations, Talks, & Teaching Activities

Predicting parasite pathologies? Coordination, validity, and inductive risks of serological tests for congenital toxoplasmosis after 1950

University of Vienna, Department of Philosophy, APSE Lecture Series
A Cosmopolitan Parasite: Tracking Toxoplasma between Laboratory Diagnostics and Regionalized Public Health Measures

Invited Talk, Working Group Health Beyond Medicine, Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin

Research interviews with experts between reconstructing historical epistemologies, tracing implicit knowledge, probing social realms, and sensing mentalities.

Workshop "Oral History of Knowledge," MPIWG and Charité, Berlin

“Using flat cells is cheating." The entanglement of morphology and physiology in modelling tissue-environment interactions in the 1980s.

Journée d'étude histoire et philosophie de l'ingénierie tissulaire, Université de Technologie de Compiègne, Paris

Organized Online Seminar Series 2022-2023

BEC Biological Engineering Collaboratory, Organized Online Seminar Series by Janella Baxter (Sam Houston State University), Hanna Lucia Worliczek (MPIWG), and Rob Smith (University of Edinburgh)
Quantification and Standardised Metrics as Historiographic Tools – The Power and Pitfalls of Bibliometric Analyses for Historical Epistemology

49th Symposium of the International Committee for the History of Technology (ICOHTEC), University of Ostrava (held online)

A Cosmopolitan Parasite: Tracking Toxoplasma between Laboratory Diagnostics, the Clinic and Regionalized Public Health Measures since the 1950s

Invited talk, Colloquium of the Chair for History of Science, Universität Regensburg

In Search of Biomedical Validity: Towards a Cross-Disciplinary History of Validation Practices

Biennial Meeting of the International Society for the History, Philosophy, and Social Studies of Biology, University of Toronto Symposium, together with Simon Brausch, Sam Ducourant, Alfred Freeborn, Ariane Hanemaayer, Lara Keuck, and Michele Luchetti

Historisch-epistemologisch geprägte Ansätze der neueren und neuesten Geschichte der Naturwissenschaften.

History of science seminar for Master's students in history, philosophy of science, and contemporary history and media in the Department of History, University of Vienna

Does epistemic object choice shape valuation of knowledge in cell biology?

Online seminar series at the Biological Engineering Collaboratory (BEC)

Historical Epistemology of Twentieth Century Life Sciences

Meeting of the International Society for the History, Philosophy and Social Studies of Biology (ISHPSSB) at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

“Merely Descriptive” and Therefore Dismissed? Descriptive Epistemic Practices of Modern Cell Biology in the Context of Evolving Mechanistic-Explanatory Demands and Innovative Imaging Technologies after 1950

Biennial Conference of the European Society for the History of Science (ESHS)