Ben Barres

Ben Barres

Ben Barres

Birth : (1954-09-13)September 13, 1954 West Orange, New Jersey, U.S.

Death : December 27, 2017(2017-12-27)(agedĀ 63) Stanford, California, U.S.

Personal Information

Name Ben Barres
Birth (1954-09-13)September 13, 1954 West Orange, New Jersey, U.S.
Birth Place West Orange, New Jersey, U.S.
Death (2017-12-27)(agedĀ 63) Stanford, California, U.S.
Died At Stanford, California, U.S.
Alma Mater ,M.I.T.,Dartmouth College,Harvard Medical School
Fields Neurobiology
Institution Stanford University)
Famous Research Neuroscience
Doctoral Advisor David Corey

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Events Occured in Scienctist Life


Beginning in 2008, he was Chair of the Neurobiology Department at Stanford University School of Medicine.


He transitioned to male in 1997, and became the first openly transgender scientist in the National Academy of Sciences in 2013.


Early life and education Barres was born on September 13, 1954, in West Orange, New Jersey, assigned female.


He obtained a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1976), a medical degree (MD) from Dartmouth Medical School (1979), and a residency in neurology at Weill Cornell Medicine.


He completed a PhD in Neurobiology there in 1990, then did postdoctoral training at University College London under Martin Raff.


In 1993, Barres joined the faculty of Neurobiology at the Stanford School of Medicine.


After transitioning to male in 1997, Barres published on sexism in the sciences and, in 2008, was appointed to the Chair of Neurobiology at Stanford.


In the 2010s Barres's research focused on using techniques such as immunopanning, immunohistochemistry, tissue culturing, and patch clamping to: 1) understand the cell-to-cell interactions in the developmental regulation of nodes of Ranvier and myelin sheaths; 2) determine to what extent glial cells play a role in synapse formation and function of synapses; 3) identify the signals that promote retinal ganglia growth and survival, and how such knowledge of these signals could be regenerated post-trauma; 4) identify the functions and developmental mechanisms of gray matter astrocytes.


In 2012, he recollected the events of his sex change:


He spoke and wrote openly about being a trans man and his experiences transitioning gender identity in 1997, and his experiences of being treated differently as a female scientist versus a male scientist.


Death Barres died on December 27, 2017, some 20 months after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, at his home in Palo Alto, California.


In 2008 he received the Mika Salpeter Lifetime Achievement Award.


He became a member and elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2011.


In 2013 he was elected to the National Academy of Sciences, becoming the first openly transgender member.