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Ben Barres

Dr. Barres is Professor of Neurobiology, Developmental Biology, and Neurology at Stanford University School of Medicine. He did his B.S. degree at MIT, M.D. degree at Dartmouth Medical School, his internship and residency in neurology at the Cornell Cooperating Hospitals Program, his Ph.D. with David Corey at Harvard Medical School, and his postdoctoral fellowship with Martin Raff at University College London.

Dr. Barres presently serves as Chair of the Department of Neurobiology at Stanford University, is a Fellow of the American Association of Science, a member of Council for the National Institute of Neurological Disorders, and serves on many editorial boards including Neuron, Science, Development, and the Journal of Cell Biology. He has won many teaching awards at Stanford. Dr. Barres is the creator and director of the Masters of Science in Medicine Program (, a new program at Stanford University to train Ph.D. students about human biology and disease. He is a founding member of the Myelin Repair Foundatiom, which focuses on translational research to develop new drugs for Multiple Sclerosis, and a co-founder of Annexon Inc., a company to develop new drugs for neurodegenerative diseases.

Dr. Barres is transgendered, a Fellow of American Women in Science, and an activist for the rights of women and minorities. His lab focuses on the role of neuron-glial interactions in the CNS, with present emphasis on understanding the basis of CNS regenerative and remyelinative failure, the blood-brain barrier, and the role of astrocytes at synapses. Barres and his students demonstrated that astrocytes, rather than being passive support cells as long thought, powerfully control synapse formation, function, and elimination. His group has identified a variety of the proteins that astrocytes secrete that control each of these steps of synaptogenesis.