Breanna Evett-Nicole Barrett


Kingston, Jamaica

Academic Interests

Biology, Psychology, Biotechnology, Health Studies

Fun Fact

I played 16 percussion instruments in high school!

At Duke, I am on the executive board of Duke bioSTEMS club,  a member of Duke Students of the Caribbean, and a tech support staff member at Duke Law. During my downtime, I like to do kickboxing and indoor cycling at Wilson Recreation Center and spend time with my friends.

My biology passion was fueled during my sophomore year at high school when I was selected in a special science program. I explored molecular biology by sequencing DNA, then conducted research on fruit flies genes and their relations to type 2 diabetes mellitus with Stanford research scientists. These were pivotal exposures that connected lab academics to output that could be an innovative force for societal good. I utilized this knowledge in 2019 at a Jamaican University’s Biotechnology Unit in a summer project to instruct teachers on the basics of Biotechnology, a new syllabus item for Jamaican students. I demonstrated the use of lab equipment such as a centrifuge and a spectrometer, and how to explain the Polymerase chain reaction using a thermal cycler. This “train the trainer” experience was memorable for me as I was proud that my newfound knowledge could be utilized to assist persons in my childhood country.

Additionally, a significant portion of my teenage life has been spent giving back to my respective communities. I have been given many opportunities to better myself and try to ensure that I give back to society.  I recognized I have a penchant for helping others and I have a keen interest in biology so I sought out community service opportunities that combined both.

In Jamaica, I also volunteered for two summers to assist the zoologist in deworming ponies and tending to the squirrel monkeys.  I also devoted some time online in the summer of 2020, tutoring basic science concepts to children. My long-term goal is to contribute to scientific research in an effort to help society and pave the way for other phenomenal STEM students.

What do you like about being a SPIRE Fellow?

I really like Duke’s collaborative and vibrant community and the vast learning opportunities available to students.

Breanna Evett-Nicole Barrett
Breanna Evett-Nicole Barrett