Cassandra Barrett, PhD, CGC

She/Her and They/Them

Education: B.S., Microbiology, University of Minnesota, 2015. Ph.D., Biological Design, Arizona State University, 2019. M.S., Genetic Counseling, University of Utah, 2021.

Areas of Expertise: Neurogenetics, Whole Exome/Genome Sequencing, Gene Therapy and Precision Medicine, Healthy Genetics, Psychiatric Genetics 

Affiliations and Disclosures: Clinical Variant Scientist at Variantyx, The University of Kansas

Languages: English, Dutch

Biography: Cassandra began her career as a laboratory scientist investigating gene editing technologies. Ultimately her passion for directly impacting patient’s lives and empowering people through knowledge led her to genetic counseling. She worked in a neurogenetics clinic providing genetic counseling for adults, children, and families with a variety of neurogenetic conditions including ALS, Huntington’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, hereditary neuropathies, muscular dystrophies, ataxia, and dementia. Cassandra provided counseling for patients about their eligibility for gene therapies and clinical trials for neurological conditions.  

In 2022, Cassandra joined Variantyx as a clinical variant scientist analyzing results from whole genome sequencing. Providing accurate analysis of genetic variants is a key component to the success of genetic medicine. Cassandra joined Grey Genetics because of her love for patients and their stories. She enjoys helping folks to make meaning out of their family history and genetic test results. She is excited to help more patients and families better understand their genetic make-up and what it means for them. 

Selected Publications & Presentations:

  • McCutcheon, G., Malloy, J., Hall, C., & Barrett, C. M. (2020). Enhancing State-Level Oversight of Direct-to-Consumer Stem Cell Clinics. Journal of Science Policy and Governance , 17(1). https://doi.org/10.38126/jspg170114
  • Barrett, C. M., McCracken, R., Elmer, J., & Haynes, K. A. (2020). Components from the Human c-myb Transcriptional Regulation System Reactivate Epigenetically Repressed Transgenes. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 21(2). https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21020530
  • Tekel, S. J., Barrett, C. M., Vargas, D., & Haynes, K. A. (2018). Design, Construction, and Validation of Histone-Binding Effectors in Vitro and in Cells. Biochemistry, 57(31), 4707–4716.
  • Cassandra Barret (2021) “An Introduction to Gene Therapy for Genetic Counselors” National Society of Genetic Counselors Annual Meeting, Virtual (Invited Pre-conference Session Talk)
  • Cassandra Barrett, Emily Spoth, Kim Kaphingst, Karin Dent (2021) “The Developing Role of Genetic Counselors in Somatic Gene Therapy.” American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics Annual Meeting, Virtual (Platform Presentation)
  • Cassandra Barrett (2018) “Active versus Accessible: Engineering Open Chromatin in Mammalian Cells.” Epigenetics and Bioengineering Conference, San Francisco, CA (Platform Presentation)