Barbie doll of Oxford vaccine co-creator to inspire young children

OXFORD BARBIE - PA IMAGE
Professor Dame Sarah Gilbert with the Barbie doll Credit: PA

A Barbie doll has been made in honour of Oxford vaccine co-creator Professor Dame Sarah Gilbert.

Dame Sarah, who led development of the life-saving jab, said she initially found the gesture "very strange" but hoped it would inspire young girls to work in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (Stem).

She said: "I am passionate about inspiring the next generation of girls into Stem careers and hope that children who see my Barbie will realise how vital careers in science are to help the world around us."

As well as the likeness of Dame Sarah, another five dolls have also been made of other women working in Stem around the world.

They include US healthcare workers Amy O'Sullivan and Dr Audrey Cruz, Canadian doctor and campaigner Dr Chika Stacy Oriuwa, Brazilian biomedical researcher Dr Jaqueline Goes de Jesus and Dr Kirby White, an Australian medic who co-created a reusable gown for frontline staff.

It is hoped the Barbie doll will inspire children to work in Stem Credit: PA Images

Lisa McKnight, senior vice president and global head of Barbie & dolls at Mattel, said: "Barbie recognises that all frontline workers have made tremendous sacrifices when confronting the pandemic and the challenges it heightened.

"To shine a light on their efforts, we are sharing their stories and leveraging Barbie's platform to inspire the next generation to take after these heroes and give back.

"Our hope is to nurture and ignite the imaginations of children playing out their own storyline as heroes."