Foteini Hassiotou

Foteini Hassiotou graduated from the Aristotle University of Greece in 2005 with a B.Sc. in Biology and First Class Honours in Microbiology. She then started a PhD in Plant Physiology at The University of Western Australia (UWA), which she completed in 2009. Shortly after, Foteini joined the Hartmann Human Lactation Research Group of UWA, commencing a second PhD on breastfeeding physiology and the cellular composition of breastmilk, including stem cells and immune cells. Foteini recently completed her second PhD, which included ground-breaking reports, such as the discovery of pluripotent stem cells in breastmilk, and the development of tools to assess the health status of the lactating breast. Foteini is now a postdoctoral fellow at the UWA Hartmann group, concentrating on the maternal cells that are present in breastmilk and their involvement in health and disease. Her projects include research on (a) the etiology and management of low milk supply, such as in mothers of preterm infants; (b) tools to successfully and rapidly diagnose mastitis, understand its causes, and develop potential clinical management avenues; (c) the properties of breastmilk stem cells and microRNAs, and their function in the development of the breastfed infant; and (d) using breastmilk stem cells as models to give insight into the etiology of breast cancer.