Dan Barry was born in Norwalk, Connecticut, but considers South Hadley, Massachusetts his hometown. He is a former astronaut who currently spends his time building robots for his own company, Denbar Robotics. Barry's work and research has been supported by the National Institute of Health, the National Science Foundation, the Grass Foundation and the American Heart Association of Michigan. He has five patents and has had over 50 articles published in scientific journals.
For his work and accomplishments, Barry has received numerous special honors and awards over the years, including the 1971 McMullen Engineering Award, the 1984 Young Investigator Award from the American Association of Electrodiagnostic Medicine, an Honorary Doctor of Science degree from St. Louis University in 1996; the Vladimir Komarov Diploma from Federation Aeronautique Internationale in 1998; an Honorary Life Membership from the United States Tennis Association in 1999, inclusion in the list of 100 Most Notable Princeton Graduate School Alumni of the 20th Century in 2001, and both the Paul J. Corcoran Award from Harvard Medical School and an Honorary Doctor of Science degree from Beloit College in 2003.
Barry is a member of the American Association of Electrodiagnostic Medicine, Association of Academic Physiatrists, Sigma Xi (a scientific group), Association of Space Explorers and the United States Tennis Association.
In 1971, Barry graduated from Bolton High School in Alexandria, Louisiana. In 1975, he received a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from Cornell University. In 1977, he received a master of engineering degree and a Master of Arts degree in electrical engineering/computer science from Princeton University. In 1980, he received a doctorate in electrical engineering/computer science, also from Princeton. In 1982, he received a doctorate in medicine from the University of Miami. In 1985, Barry completed an internship and a Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation residency at the University of Michigan. He was then appointed by the University of Michigan as an assistant professor in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and in the Bioengineering Program. He spent the summers of 1985-1987 in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, working in skeletal muscle physiology at the Marine Biological Laboratory.
Barry was offered tenure at the University of Michigan in 1992. At the same time, he was selected by NASA to train at the Johnson Space Center and opted to relocate to Texas. He completed one year of training and qualified for assignment as a mission specialist on Space Shuttle flight crews. A veteran of three space flights, Barry has logged over 734 hours in space, including four space walks. He retired from NASA in April, 2005.
Barry currently lives in South Hadley, Massachusetts with his wife of 24 years, Sue. They have two children, Jenny and Andy, and one dog, Windy. He enjoys flying, tennis, sailing, ultimate Frisbee and running. His birth date is December 30, 1953.