PerspectiveRetrospective

Ben Barres (1954–2017)

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Science  19 Jan 2018:
Vol. 359, Issue 6373, pp. 280
DOI: 10.1126/science.aas9270

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Summary

Ben Barres transformed our understanding of brain glial cells. He lived an extraordinary life and died too young after a 2-year battle with pancreatic cancer. From early childhood, he suffered greatly from gender dysphoria, until transitioning from Barbara to Ben at age 43. This provided enormous relief, as well as rare insight into how differently females and males are treated, fueling a passionate intolerance to prejudice. He was the first openly transgender person elected to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences.