Dr. Ben Barres
Summary: neuroscientist who did groundbreaking work on brain cells known as glia and their possible relation to diseases like Parkinson's disease, who was an outspoken advocate of equal opportunity for women in the sciences and was transgender after having transitioned from female to male in 1997 when he was in his 40s and well into his career as Dr. Barbara Barres (that gave him a distinctive outlook on the difficulties that women and minorities face in academia, and especially in the sciences), who wrote an article for the journal Nature in 2006 titled "Does Gender Matter" that took on some prominent scholars who had argued that women were not advancing in the sciences because of innate differences in their aptitude and cited studies documenting obstacles facing women, but it also drew on his personal experiences, who recounted dismissive treatment he had received when he was a woman and how that had changed when he became a man, and who was chairman of the neurology department at Stanford University since 2008.
Cause of Death: Pancreatic cancer
Born: September 13, 1954
Died: December 27, 2017
Location: Palo Alto, California