NEW YORK – Greek-American Mariel Voutounou was preparing to board her Delta airlines return flight to New York at the time of the terrorist attack on Brussels airport.
Dr. Mariel Voutounou suffered burns and slight injuries and was rushed to a Brussels hospital. The news of her injury raised the alarm on both sides of the Atlantic and both her colleagues and superiors at the Burke Medical Research Institute (BMRI) in White Plains, NY, where she has been working for the past years, as well as her parents and family who live in Cyprus. TNH was unable to reach Voutounou’s immediate family for comment.
Cyprus’ Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that Dr. Voutounou had traveled to Nepal to visit her sister, but did not offer information as to the condition of her health. Dr. Eric L. Shipp, Scientific and Financial Officer) of the Burke Medical Research Institute (BMRI) told TNH that all they know is that Voutounou has been injured, has been sent to a Brussels hospital, and that her injuries are not life-threatening.
Dr. Shipp went on to praise Voutounou’s rare character and noted that she is a very promising researcher. “The entire staff, executives, and employees alike, are praying for her speedy recovery and are anxiously awaiting her discharge from the hospital and her return to New York”, he said.
For the past three years, Voutounou has been doing post-graduate studies and research in the field of Neuroscience at Cornell University. She speaks four languages – English, Greek, Spanish, and French.
Voutounou studied Physics at the University of Cyprus from 2003 until 2005, at which time she was accepted to the University of Leicester in the United Kingdom, from which she received her biology degree in 2008. She began graduate studies immediately at the same university, and in 2013 earned a PhD in Genetics.