Eleni Antoniadou Wants To Change Medicine Forever — And She’s Only 27

Eleni Antoniadou, 27, is an extraordinary young scientist who hopes to change the face of medicine. Named one of Forbes magazine’s 30 Under 30 in health care this year, Antoniadou is the co-founder of the startup Transplants Without Donors, which aims to jumpstart the use of lab-generated organs in clinical transplants.

In 2011, she directly contributed to research that enabled the world’s first successful completely artificial organ transplant, helping to craft an artificial trachea for a 36-year-old late-stage cancer patient.

Her burgeoning research career has seen remarkable success at every stage: While continuing her graduate work in regenerative medicine at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, she was selected to participate in courses at the NASA Academy, where she remains a visiting researcher. In 2013, Antoniadou was named Woman of the Year at the 2013 British FDM Everywoman in Technology Awards, and in 2014 was a laureate of the Cartier Women’s Initiative Award for her work in bioengineering.

Despite the well-earned honors she has received — and her role at NASA — Antoniadou expresses a remarkably earthbound and focused vision for the future. HuffPost Greece sat down with the pioneering scientist to talk about her work, her passion and her vision for the next decade.

What is it you most hope to personally achieve in the next 10 years?

In the next 10 years, I hope to contribute to the development of artificial organs as an alternative therapy for transplants. At the same time, I hope to contribute to the sensitizing of society to the acceptance of innovative technologies in clinical practice, and the eradication of stereotypes that stem from a lack of knowledge. And personally, the possibility of having or adopting a child would be a daring and exciting undertaking!

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