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STATES CHRONICLE – The first transgender neuroscientists who made great discoveries about how the human brain functioned lost the battle with pancreatic cancer. Dr. Ben Barres led an intense fight with the disease for almost two years, and died on Wednesday at the age of 63. He is most well-known for his research on the glial cells.
Barres held a remarkable work in the domain of neurobiology
Barres was a professor at Stanford University, where he also headed the department of neurobiology. He was extremely interested in the study of various diseases which affected the brain and, each time, he noticed how the glial cells suffered. This sparked his interest, so he continued the analysis of these cells. Instead of standing passively in the neural processes, they turned out to play a more important role.
Barres is well-known for many academic achievements. He published 167 scientific papers, but also fought for the rights of women in the science world. He was born a woman, and became the first transgender person who was admitted as a member of the National Academy of Science.
Everyone was shocked to hear of his passing
The news of his death struck the scientific community. Everyone who knew him, including his students, colleagues, and any others who admired his scientific works posted their sad messages and regrets on Twitter. His students saw him as a mentor, his colleagues admired him for his achievements, and the entire world of science was grateful for his great findings related to the brain and glial cells.
In April 2006, Barres discovered he had cancer. At the time, he had to give up his position as the chair of the neurobiology department at Stanford, which was taken over by Thomas Clandinin. In the last two years, he also developed pancreatic cancer, which took such an aggressive form that he had to fight to survive these dire years.
Honoured to have worked with such a brilliant neuroscientist. RIP Ben Barres https://t.co/7EB6uyo4Og
— Nature Rev Immunol (@NatRevImmunol) December 28, 2017
Sad to have lost a beloved med school professor, trailblazing scientist, and all around beautiful human being. Today I'm fondly remembering his epic chalk talk on action potentials. https://t.co/vFjTBeyfGH
— Shoa Clarke, MD PhD (@ShoaClarke) December 28, 2017
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