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Ben Barres

Ben Barres, MD, PhD

September 13, 1954 – December 27, 2017

Dr. Barres was a neuroscientist at Stanford University; he served as Chair of Neurobiology from 2008-2016 and was the creator and director of the Masters of Science in Medicine Degree Program. He is credited with pioneering the study of neuron-glial interactions in the CNS. His lab focused on studying the basis of CNS neurodegenerative diseases, axon regeneration and remyelination failures, and the implication of astrocytes and microglia in health and disease. In 2011, Dr. Barres co-founded Annexon Biosciences Inc., with the hope of leveraging his lab’s findings in the development of new drugs for Alzheimer’s and other neurological diseases.

Beyond research, Dr. Barres was an ardent advocate for gender equality in science. He was the first openly transgender scientist elected to the National Academy of Science. Among his many distinctions, Dr. Barres was also elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and a member of the National Academy of Medicine.