Ben A. Barres, M.D., Ph.D.

On December 27, 2017, the world lost a great researcher and we lost a dear friend. Ben Barres was a singular individual: his extraordinary intelligence led to major discoveries in the brain, and his exuberance energized all of those around him. He was a passionate mentor and teacher, and his work will live on in the scientists that he helped guide and educate. Ben made the world a better place. Everyday, he is missed.

Dr. Ben Barres earned his B.S. degree at MIT, his M.D. at Dartmouth Medical School, did 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.

Ben was the Chair of the Department of Neurobiology at Stanford University and served on many editorial boards, including those of Neuron, eLife, Current Opinion in Neurobiology, Development and the Journal of Cell Biology. He won many teaching awards at Stanford, including the Kaiser Award for Excellence in Preclinical Teaching and the Kaiser Award for Outstanding Contributions to Medical Education. Ben was the creator and Director of the Master’s of Science in Medicine program (, a program at Stanford University to train Ph.D. students about human biology and disease. He was a founding member of the Myelin Repair Foundation, which focuses on translational research to develop new drugs for multiple sclerosis, and a co-founder of a new company, Annexon Biosciences Inc., that is developing new drugs for Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases.

Dr. Barres was transgendered, a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Association for Women in Science and the National Academies of Science and Medicine, as well as an activist for the rights of women and minorities. His lab focuses on the role of neuron-glial interactions in the central nervous system (CNS), with emphasis on understanding the basis of CNS neurodegenerative disease, axon regenerative and remyelinative failure, and the role of astrocytes at synapses in health and disease.

Funded Research

These projects were made possible from Cure Alzheimer's Fund support.

Selected Publications

These published papers resulted from Cure Alzheimer’s Fund support.

Yang Shi, Kaoru Yamada, Shane Antony Liddelow, Scott T. Smith, Lingzhi Zhao, Wenjie Luo, Richard M. Tsai, Salvatore Spina, Lea T. Grinberg, Julio C. Rojas, Gilbert Gallardo, Kairuo Wang, Joseph Roh, Grace Robinson, Mary Beth Finn, Hong Jiang, Patrick M. Sullivan, Caroline Baufeld, Michael W. Wood, Courtney Sutphen, Lena McCue, Chengjie Xiong, Jorge L. Del-Aguila, John C. Morris, Carlos Cruchaga, Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative, Anne M. Fagan, Bruce L. Miller, Adam L. Boxer, William W. Seeley, Oleg Butovsky, Ben A. Barres, Steven M. Paul, David M. Holtzman ApoE4 markedly exacerbates tau-mediated neurodegeneration in a mouse model of tauopathy, Nature, 20 Sep 2017, Read More