Hellenic Pasteur Institute

The day of a cell

“In the fields of observation, chance favors only the prepared mind,” said Louis Pasteur, a pioneer chemist and “father” of microbiology … When we are babies we observe everything around us and we always want to learn how everything works. For that reason, we are inviting our little friends to learn how DNA is made and how we read the alphabet of life, how cells are looking and how they are fighting their enemies. By playing we will eventually discover the little scientist which is hiding in our minds…

The action “The day of a cell” is modular, consisting of 3 parts:

  • a. DNA play: copying genetic material/viruses/etc, using suitable models to demonstrate & kid-friendly materials to make their own models
  • b. pathogen attack: photos / game in the form of selection on a tablet,
  • c. observation of cells with the microscope

For young minds 4 – 10 years’ old 

It is presented by: Antonia Efstathiou, Evdokia Karagouni, Dimitra Toubanaki

Our activity “Magnifying the microcosm” includes:

  • Printing of 3D models of biomolecules, microorganisms and viral particles to explore the world under a microscope.
  • Painting of 3D prints with different colors to distinguish individual components of each structure (DNA, proteins etc).
  • Understanding Bioprinting and its Applications in biomedicine.
  • Our participants will keep their creations as a reward!

For every age

It is presented by: Georgia Papadopoulou / Gesthimani Papadopoulou

Dr Antonia Efstathiou is a research associate at HPIs’ Microbiology Department. Her research activities include targeted drug discovery against infectious diseases and vaccine development based on exosomes analysis by –omics technologies. She is actively involved in activities for bringing science closer to the public since 2015. She was in the organizing committee of the first 2 researcher’s night pre-event forum at HPI.

She has participated in 2019 Researcher’s Night and Athens Science Festival, performing science experiments. Also, she was member of the Science Reactors group, who present different scientific topics to the public through theatrical sketches and stand-up comedy (stand-up science).

Dr Evdokia Karagouni is Research Director at HPIs’ Microbiology Department. She has a degree in Biology (1982) holds a PhD (1989) from Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.

Her research is focused on the analysis of immunopathogenic mechanisms that dictate disease development in order to determine target biomolecules for immunotherapies, as well as on the detection of pathogenic macromolecules or antigenic determinants with potential use in vaccines or diagnostics development.

She is actively involved in educational activities by teaching in 4 Masters programs and supervising 5 PhD theses, 29 master and undergraduate theses. She is an elected member of the HPI scientific board. She has participated in several Athens and Patras Science Festivals.

Dr Dimitra Toubanaki is research associate at HPIs’ Microbiology Department.

Her research is focused on the development of molecular diagnostics utilizing biomarker discovery by -omics approaches. She is actively involved in science education activities for the past 10 years. She has been a mentor in the ARRAYS project, funded by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) in Boston, MA, USA.

The primary objective of the ARRAYS project was to inspire interest in science by creating opportunities for young scientists to participate in real world research. She is performing science experiments in Primary schools and has participated in 2019 Researcher’s Night, as well as Athens and Patras Science Festivals.

Georgia Papadopoulou is a PhD student at HPI’s Molecular Virology department. She has graduated from Biochemistry and Biotechnology department, University of Thessaly (2015) and holds a Master’s degree in “Applications of Biology in Medicine” from National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (2018).

She has offered laboratory training and result analysis to a postgraduate and six undergraduate students during her PhD. She is a skilled communicator, as she has attended communication and event promotion seminars and worked as a medical writer and as a hostess in congresses and special events.

Gethsimani Papadopoulou is a PhD student at HPIs’ Bioinformatic and Applied Genomics Unit since 2019. She has graduated from the Faculty of Biology (University of Athens, UOA)and holds a Master’s degree in “Applications of Biology in Medicine” (UOA).

Currently her research interests focus on the study of the host immune responses against respiratory pathogens, using NGS approaches.

She is actively involved in educational activities communicating science and has participated in the Athens Science Festival, both as a volunteer member of the organizing committee and as a member of the “Physical Anthropology” team (Faculty of Biology). Moreover, she has participated in the organization laboratory activities of the course "Cell Biology"( Faculty of Biology).

Christina V. Oikonomopoulou, is the Head of Administration Department at Hellenic Pasteur Institute.

She was born and grew up in Arcadia Greece. She studied, Health Services Management and Public Administration and got her doctoral degree from the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, School of Health Sciences.

She had trained in France on Hospital Management (Strasbourg, Hospices Civils du Strasbourg, and Health Informatics (Paris, Ministry of Health).

Over the last 30 years she has worked as staff member in the Public Health Sector (Athens Children Hospital P and A. Kyriakou), and as PDG in Children's Mental Hospital of Attica, Network of Services of Mental Health for Children and Adolescents.

She also has a long academic and educational activity teaching Management and Human Resource’s Management, as Lecturer at the Demokriteion University of Thrace, the University of Peloponnese and in post-graduate programs at Nursing Faculty of Athens University and Medical Faculty of University of Crete.

She also has a big experience in the Open and Distance Learning Education, since 2002, as a member of academic staff of Greek Open University and Cyprus Open University.

Her main research interests are focused on the Development of Human Resources, Improvement of Quality of Care, and more recently on the Crisis Management.

Among her activities should be mentioned her participations as member of board of Directors at the Institute of Child Health and the Foundation Angelos and Leto Katakouzenos.

Hellenic Pasteur Institute (HPI) www.pasteur.gr is an International Institute of Biomedical Research with a social missionand was founded in 1919.

HPI is a public research body that assists the State in Public Health issues.  HPI has embraced the modern concept of Science, believing that an important mission of Research is the Science – Society continuous interconnection, enabling a continuous open dialogue between them. An important aspect of this connection is science education.

In that frame, HPI actively organizes Open Information Days on Science and Technology in the fields of Microbiology (pathogenic microorganisms, infectious diseases, vaccines, antimicrobial resistance, etc.), Immunology (natural and adaptive immunity, antibodies, autoimmune diseases) and Neurobiology (neurodegenerative diseases, stem cells therapies), as well as in Public Health and Hygiene fields (importance of vaccination, nutrition, exercise, smoking, alcohol and substances abuse, personal hygiene, etc). Overall, HPI offers to student and the general public a suitable environment for the acquaintance and understanding of Life Sciences and Biomedical Research.

A significant part of these activities is aimed at schools to inform students on scientific / research issues that will contribute to their subsequent University education and their professional development. HPI has many years of experience in hosting schools for educational programs, addressed to Primary and Secondary Schools students. Some of the programs that are running the last few years are: 

  • Educational Programs (including school visits to HPI).
  • Scientific Events for the general public and students
  • Educational and Social Actions (Educational Program for children Refugees of school age, educational training programs for adolescents (12-18 years old) as well as young adults (18-25 years old) living in child protection institutions, focused on key issues of everyday life (related to personal hygiene, etc).
  • Special Seminars. Seminars for Kindergarten Teachers and Secondary Education Teachers (Necessity of Vaccination, etc.), Seminars in collaboration with School Counselors (Biologists, Geologists, Physicists, Chemists), addressed to teachers of 2ndary Education entitled “Today’s sciences “.

Contact persons
Christina Driva, Promotion & Net Working Office, Administration Department, Τηλ.210-6478801, Εmail: cdriva@pasteur.gr
Dimitra Toubanaki , PhD, Postdoctoral Researcher, Immunology of Infectious Diseases Laboratory/ Science Commuinication, Department of Microbiology, Tel.: 210-6478825, Εmail: dtouban@pasteur.gr