Mattel, the maker of the Barbie doll, created six dolls honoring women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics from different parts of the world.
One of them is the researcher who led the creation of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, la profesora Sarah Gilbert.
Although the scientist said that she had found the creation “very strange” at first, she hoped it would inspire the children.
“I hope it is part of it being more normal than girls think about science careers “he noted in an interview with Mattel.
“I would like my doll to show children careers they may not know about, like that of a vaccinologist.”
In 2020, Gilbert became a science celebrity, having led the Oxford University team, which partnered with the British-Swedish pharmaceutical multinational AstraZeneca, in the race to develop the coronavirus vaccine.
The Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is currently the most used in the world, with doses shipped to more than 170 countries.
“I am passionate about inspiring the next generation of girls to Stem careers and I hope children who see my Barbie realize how vital science careers are to helping the world around us,” said the researcher.
Within the scientific guild, Gilbert is well known for being one of the world leaders in vaccinology.
The scientist has dedicated almost two decades to research in laboratories, producing vaccines and obtaining funding for future projects.
He obtained a BA in Biology from the University of East Anglia, in Norwich, East England. Later, he completed a doctorate in biochemistry.
After that, he focused his research on the biotechnology industry, where he learned about drug manufacturing.
In 1994, Gilbert obtained a senior postdoctoral position at the University of Oxford, in the field of genetics, parasites and malaria.
That research led her to work on vaccine development.
The Brazilian biomedical Jaqueline Góes de Jesus was also one of the scientists chosen by Mattel for her work in the investigation of the new coronavirus.
Góes de Jesus was part of the team responsible for the genetic sequencing of the new coronavirus in the first cases of covid-19 in Latin America.
Image source, Lego
At the age of 31, Góes de Jesus has a successful career in the field of biomedicine.
Before delving into the research of the new coronavirus, he was part of the team that sequenced the genome of the Zika virus.
Born in Salvador, daughter of a nurse and a civil engineer, she is currently a postdoctoral researcher at FAPESP (Foundation for Research Support of the State of Sao Paulo) at the Institute of Tropical Medicine of Sao Paulo – University of Sao Paulo ( IMT- USP).
He also conducts research in the area of arbovirus emergentes.
Góes de Jesus and his colleagues, under the coordination of the immunologist Ester Cerdeira Sabino, managed to sequence the genome of the SARS-CoV-2 virus alone 48 hours after confirming the first case of covid-19 in Brazil, a time below the world average of 15 days.
The samples came from the first Brazilian patient infected by the new coronavirus, on February 26, 2020.
The sequencing made it possible to differentiate the virus that infected the Brazilian patient from the genome identified in Wuhan, the epicenter of the epidemic in China.
The samples revealed that this case was closer to the versions of the coronavirus detected in Germany at the end of January.
The toy company also included:
Amy O’Sullivan, an emergency room nurse who treated the first COVID-19 patient at Wycoff Hospital in Brooklyn, New York.
Audrey Cruz, a front-line doctor in Las Vegas who fights against discrimination.
Kirby White, Australian physician who pioneered the creation of a surgical gown that healthcare workers can wash and reuse during the pandemic.