About

Dr Barratt is passionate about cell biology and elucidating the underlying mechanisms of disease.

After completing her Bachelor of Biological Science (2009, University of Western Sydney) and Honours degree (2010) in embryology at the Children’s Medical Research Institute (Westmead, UWS) Kristen relocated to Canberra to undertake her Ph.D. in the Early Mammalian Development Laboratory with Professor Ruth Arkell at the Australian National University (ANU). Durng her PhD she worked on elucidating the non-coding regulatory mechanisms behind Zic2-associated Holoprosencephaly (HPE), discovered an association between HPE and left-right axis defects/Heterotaxy and was awarded the Wood-Whelan Research Fellowship and Company of Biologists (Development) Travelling Fellowship (2013).

Post-PhD, Dr Barratt continued her research as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the John Curtin School of Medical Research (ANU) where she demonstrated that elevated canonical WNT signalling causes L-R axis defects and Heterotaxy for the first time, and also generated the first genetic mouse model of maternal type 2 diabetes and diabetic embryopathy. Her work on canonical WNT signalling earnt her The Verne Chapman Young Scientist Award (2020, Internantional Mammalian Genome Society).

In 2023 Dr Barratt moved to Townsville and began working with Professor Jon Golledge and the QRCPVD to investigate the role of canonical WNT signalling in abdominal aortic aneurysms and vascular disease.  

Concurrently, Dr Barratt participates in extensive teaching, educating students from a high school level all the way through to post-graduate students, and is an advocate for Women and Girls in STEMM fields.

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