World-leading scientist and NASA researcher Eleni Antoniadou has received more worldwide recognition for her outstanding work on lifesaving therapies for artificial organ transplantations, by having a Barbie doll made in her honour, becoming the first Greek Barbie.

Mattel announced a series of Barbie dolls that will celebrate the 60th anniversary of International Women’s Day on March 8, by honouring women in a variety of fields that are an inspiration to young girls and wonderful role models.

The company also says it hopes this series of Barbies’ will encourage young girls to follow their dreams.

Eleni is a Greek scientist in the fields of regenerative medicine and bioastronautics, with an interest in stem cell therapies to regenerate body parts and 3D-bioprinting for space applications. She is an advocate for organ donation, an activist against illegal organ trafficking, and a firm supporter of girls in STEM.

“From an early age, her family nurtured her curiosity for space and life sciences, stirring up her awareness for the difficulties and joys of discovery a life in science entails. In 2012, she realized her childhood dream to join NASA and was in awe of how space exploration keeps pushing our boundaries of knowledge further. As a young researcher, her work explores novel stem cell therapeutics for transplantations, stem cell biobanking, and the effects of space radiation and microgravity. She has collaborated with biotech companies in Europe, Asia, and the U.S. Her efforts in attempting to connect the dots between research, technology policy, and entrepreneurship have been recognized with several academic distinctions and honors,” said Mattel.

“Eleni’s motivation stems from the courageous patients she encountered during medical volunteering missions in Latin America. They galvanized her into living a constant reboot phase, not staying idle in successes or failures, but always striving to develop a spirit of altruism,” they added

Eleni Antoniadou is a multidisciplinary researcher in Regenerative Medicine, Artificial Organ Bioengineering and Space Medicine who focuses on the development of artificial organs from stem cells as an alternative therapeutic pathway for transplantations.

She also serves as the President of the European Health Parliament in Brussels and is an advocate in raising awareness about illegal and immoral organ trafficking. In addition, Eleni participates in medical volunteering missions in affected areas from the illegal organ trading in Latin America to provide for the victims that don’t have access to any medical rehabilitation treatments. Eleni holds a BSc in Computer Science and Biomedical Informatics from UTH, an MSc in Nanotechnology and Regenerative Medicine from UCL, an MSc in Bioengineering and Stem Cell research from UIUC and has graduated from the NASA Academy in space exploration. During her PhD studies in Regenerative Medicine and Artificial Organ Bioengineering, Eleni worked at the Mars Exploration Lab and the Astronaut Training Division of ESA on biomedical experimentation under microgravity and space radiation conditions. Finally, Eleni has co-founded the startup Transplants Without Donors that aims to translate regenerative medicine tools that facilitate the development of the artificial organ technology from the lab to the clinic.

Eleni Antoniadou is part of the 2016 class of Tällberg Global Leaders

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