Ben Barres
"Science Squad" is reminiscent of Marvel's "Superhero Squad" series. In this issue we meet Ben.
Get to know
Ben has the ability to gain strength from electric activity and signals and can sometimes use this power to regenerate after an injury or to slow ageing. This comic book cover is hiding a few hidden treasures that relate back to his life and work...
On Ben's superhero uniform you will find the outline of a Glial cell. Glial cells perform all kinds of functions in the brain and the nerves that run throughout your body.
Ben was born on 13 September, 1954. He is known for his research focused on the gaps in the sheath of nerves, called "Nodes of Ranvier".
The whip in Ben's hands is designed to look like a nerve's axon. The yellow grooves are the Nodes of Ranvier and the blue beads represent the Myelin sheaths.
The background to the drawing is the Stanford University School of Medicine; Ben was Chair of the Neurobiology Department.
"These are not just scientists working at the bench. These are people who are working together and helping each other."
A postdoctoral fellow in Barres's laboratory
Ben was an influential neurobiologist and advocate for women in science. He is best known for his work on glial cells. Ben passed away in 2017, at the age of 63. His posthumously published memoir, The Autobiography of a Transgender Scientist, documents his remarkable life story.
About Ben
Listen to Ben talk about the beauty of science and curiosity in this 2017 video.
Video credit: Worldview Stanford
You can also listen to Ben discuss the challenges that women face while taking the traditional academic path.
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