Areas of
- The Shriram Center -
Molecular Bioengineering For Medicine & Biotechnology
Barron Lab at Stanford

Molecular Bioengineering For Medicine & Biotechnology

The broad 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, accompanied by) cerebral infections, a phenomenon now receiving renewed attention given recent discoveries. We are also working to develop biostable peptoid mimics of LL-37 as therapeutics that can combat antibiotic-resistant infections. Finally, we are working to mimic lung surfactant proteins that facilitate the delivery of therapeutics to the lungs, treat bacterial and viral pneumonia, or prevent or treat ventilator-associated acute lung injury.

We are currently putting efforts into better understanding the pathogenic mechanisms of COVID-19, as relates to dysregulation of innate immunity; understanding why certain minority populations seem to be more strongly affected by COVID-19 infections; and developing therapeutic approaches to both preventing and treating severe COVID-19.

Professor Annelise Barron

The W.M. Keck Associate Professor of Bioengineering, BS ChE University of Washington PhD ChE University of California, Berkeley

Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award, 2002 DuPont Young Professor Award, 2002 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, 1999 Beckman Young Investigator Award, 1998








Date: December 2023

The Barron Lab is grateful for the very generous donation of $900.000 made by the James J. Truchard Foundation in support of the lab’s Alzheimer’s Disease research.

Date: February 2023

Dr. Claudia Zielke was awarded the Young Scientist Award at SCM-10, the 10th International Symposium on the Separation and Characterisation of Natural and Synthetic Macromolecules, held in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Her invited talk had the title: “Separation Science for Biophysical Investigations of LL-37’s Complexes and their Role in Innate Immunity, Autoimmune Diseases and Inflammatory Disorders”. read more


Date: January 2023

Dr. Annelise E. Barron presented a Keynote Talk at the Gordon Research Conference on “Antimicrobial Host Defence Peptides” in Lucca, Italy, with the title "One Ellipsoid to Control them all: Peptoid Mimics of LL-37 that are Antiviral, Antifungal and Antibacterial". Dr Josefine E. Nielsen was invited to the pre-conference Gordon Research Seminar as a Discussion Leader for the Session “Biological Roles of Antimicrobial Host Defence Peptides”, where Dr Claudia Zielke presented her talk “Biophysical Investigation of Immunostimulatory Complexes of LL-37 with Nucleic Acids". Additionally, both presented a poster during the Gordon Research Conference.


Date: November 2022

Dr. Erwin Defensor presented a poster with the title “SARS-CoV-2 S1 spike protein induces neuroinflammation in mice: a temporal profile of systemic and central cytokine expression” at the 2022 Annual Meeting of the Society of Neuroscience in San Diego, CA. Shirin Shamloo presented her poster for the conference in a virtual format: “Photobiomodulation is anti-inflammatory and prevents neuroinflammation in mouse model of LPS induced systemic inflammation”.


Date: June 2022

Dr Annelise E. Barron is a Bronze Prize Recipient of the Oskar Fischer Prize for her innovative idea on Alzheimer's Disease looking beyond the prevailing theories, which could direct future research and treatments. She posits that the true cause of Alzheimer’s Disease is a chronic dysregulation and weakening of innate immunity and the blood-brain barrier (BBB) via underexpression, degradation and inactivation of innate immune proteins necessary for the direct effects and regulation of host defense, autophagy, and macroautophagy. read more


Date: September 2021
Dr Josefine E. Nielsen was awarded the Novo Nordisk Foundation Visiting Scholar Fellowships at Stanford Bio-X for the project: "Deconstructing Alzheimer’s Disease and type 2 Diabetes – a molecular study on Amyloid binding partners using electrons, X-rays and neutrons." The first 3 years of the funding she will be located at Stanford University in the lab of Dr. Annelise Barron, followed by 1 year in Dr. Håvard Jenssens lab at Roskilde University. read more


Date: October 2020
Dr Annelise E. Barron was awarded the prestigious National Institutes of Health Director's Pioneer Award. She intends to use the funding to explore a novel mechanism of sporadic Alzheimer’s disease and to demonstrate a method of preventing and treating it in a safe, cost-effective way. read more