Annelise E. Barron is the W.M. Keck Associate Professor of Bioengineering at Stanford University.
The overall theme of the Barron lab is the study and biomimicry of natural host defense peptides (antimicrobial peptides). We study the molecular biophysics and mechanisms of LL-37—a centrally important human host defense peptide—and its involvement in Alzheimer's dementia (via LL-37 dysregulation and degradation by pathogen virulence factors): Alzheimer's dementia can be caused by (or at least, can be accompanied by) cerebral infections, a phenomenon now receiving renewed attention given recent discoveries. We are also working to develop biostable mimics of LL-37 as new therapeutics that can combat the problem of antibiotic-resistant infections. Finally, we are working to mimic lung surfactant proteins that can facilitate the delivery of therapeutics to the lungs, to treat bacterial and viral pneumonia, or treat acute lung injury.
Dr. Barron was trained as a chemical engineer at the University of Washington (B.S.) and U.C. Berkeley (Ph.D.), and was a Pharmaceutical Chemistry postdoc with Prof. Ken A. Dill (UCSF) and Dr. Ronald N. Zuckermann (Chiron Corp.). She has served on the faculty at Stanford since 2007, and prior to that, served on the Chemical & Biological Engineering faculty of Northwestern University in Evanston, IL for 10 years (1997-2007). Dr. Barron has been awarded the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists & Engineers (PECASE), the Beckman Young Investigator Award, and the Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award, among other awards. Dr. Barron was the youngest scientist ever to serve on the Scientific Advisory Committee to the Director of the NIH, under Dr. Elias Zerhouni. She has more than 165 publications and a current H-index of 48 (Web of Science, All Databases), and serves on the advisory boards of several biotechnology companies.