Greek NASA scientist Eleni Antoniadou was among the women chosen by Toy company Mattel for the 6oth Women’s Day anniversary (March 8) to become a Barbie Doll, honouring the role of females in all facets of life and inspiring young girls all over the world to follow their dreams.
In a bid to close the Dream Gap (a phenomenon that refers to the combination of barriers that impede girls from achieving their dreams or reaching their full potential), the brand says it is working with female role models to focus on diversity and inclusivity.
As the company writes on its site for the Greek scientist:
"Eleni Antoniadou 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.
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."