Dr. Aardra Kachroo

215 Plant Science Building
OFFICE HOURS: Arranged as needed.


The courses ABT 395 and ABT 399 are managed in Canvas.  If you are registered for one of these courses or have an Incomplete for one of these courses and do not have access to the current semester's course in Canvas, please contact the Course Coordinator.  

While every effort has been made to verify the information on this page, please refer to the ABT 395 and ABT 399 Canvas pages for all deadlines, etc. regarding these courses.


ABT 395: Independent study in biotechnology under the supervision of a faculty member. 1 to 4 credits hours/semester. Prerequisite: Agricultural and Medical Biotechnology major and consent of advisor before registration.

The course may be repeated for a maximum of 6 credits.  Students MUST complete course requirements to receive credit each time they enroll i.e, students may enroll for additional credit hours only after they have completed course requirements and received a grade that meets the program requirement.

ABT 399: An internship in biotechnology under the supervision of a faculty member. Course may be repeated to a maximum of 6 credits, as described above. 
Prerequisite: Consent of the instructor and chairperson for the Agricultural and Medical Biotechnology degree program, and completion of a learning contract before registration. 

For the Spring 2022 semester, Dr. Aardra Kachroo or the student's academic advisor can sign the learning contract as the faculty sponsor, and Dr. Luke Moe will sign as the Department Chair.  


Please note that there are 4 essential elements required to successfully complete your independent course of study:

  1. Verification of an Agricultural and Medical Biotechnology program-approved Research Project Proposal 
  2. Completion of the approved research activites under the supervision of a faculty mentor
  3. Presentation of a Oral Report (see below) approved by the research mentor.
  4. Submission of an Written Report (see below) approved by the research mentor.  It is imperative that you discuss your report and presentation with your mentor WELL IN ADVANCE to allow them the opportunity to comment/edit/approve.  This is a course REQUIREMENT.  Non-approved presetations/reports or those provided to mentors at the last minute, will NOT be graded.



ALL currently enrolled ABT 395/399, or previously enrolled students who have earned an "Incomplete" as a course grade, must indicate on the Student Information Sheet when your ABT 395/399 proposal was approved and by whom. If your proposal is the proposal that you completed in ABT 301, please provide the semester you took ABT 301 and the instructor's name.


Infromational meeting will be held at 5:00 PM on Thursday, January 13, Plant Science Building Foyer (outside Cameron Williams Auditorium).  This meeting is MANDATORY and intended to anser any questions you may have.


Due in Canvas by 5:00pm, February 4.

The PHOTO RELEASE DOCUMENT will serve as guidance for ABT leadership when we consider sharing these materials.  Declining consent to the photo release will NOT be used against you in any way, rather inform us not to share your submttted product (written or visual).

VERY IMPORTANT:  Even if you have already filed a Student Information Sheet form a previous semester and the contact and project information has not changed, please submit a learning contract for Spring 2022.


Grades will be composed of the following components:
(a) Faculty mentor’s evaluation of the student’s research performance in all aspects of the project (effort, engagement, data production and analyses, quality of writing and presentation, etc.) 250pts
(b) Written Report 100pts
(b) Oral Presentation 100pts
(b) Learning Contract & Photo Release document 20pts
(b) Personal Reflection Statement (graded for timely submission only) 20pts
(b)Mandatory Class Meeting 10pts

(a) - This portion of the course will be determined after consultation of the research mentor/faculty member by the course instructor.
(b) - This portion of the course grade will be determined by the course instructor.


  1. All students must supply to Dr. Kachroo by 5:00pm, April 11, the title of their presentation and the full name, departmental affiliation, e-mail address of their mentor and any class conflicts with the presentation date/time. If you do not have any conflicts, please indicate accordingly.  Request for last minute changes to the presentation schedule will not be accommodated except under extenuating circumstances.  Dr. Kachroo will try to schedule a student's seminar time to accommodate their class schedule, etc.   Students who turn in the required information about their seminar (see #1 above) early, will be given preference in terms of which time they will be scheduled to present.
  2. The final presentation schedule will be posted on Canvas, the ABT homepage and disseminated to research mentors and the university community at large, on April 13.
  3. Final oral presentation file (approved by Mentor) due in Canvas by 12:00 Noon Monday, April 18 (NO EXCEPTIONS).  The oral presentation must be shared with your mentor Well in ADVANCE.  Last minute submissions to mentor will affect your grade.  
  4. Oral ABT 395/399 research presentations are scheduled on Tuesday, April 19 and Thursday, April 21, in the ground floor auditorium (Cameron Williams Lecture Hall) of the Plant Science Building. Presentations (a PowerPoint slideshow) should be about 12 minutes in length.  A 2-3 minute question session with the audience will follow each presentation.  Although priority of questions will be given to ABT students in the audience, presenters should expect addtional questions from faculty members.  Individual student practice sessions (PowerPoint slideshow) can be arranged with Dr. Kachroo up through April 15.  


  • One copy of your written report - along with mentor approval (signature on document OR email to Dr. Kachroo) is due in Canvas by 5:00 PM May 2. Be sure to provide your written reports to your mentor WELL in ADVANCE for approval.  Last mintue submissions WILL affect your grade.
  • FORMAT:  Any scientific journal of your mentor's choosing with the sections listed below.  Overall word limit for items 3-8 is minimum 3000 words with maximum 900 words per section.  Contact Dr. Kachroo,, if you have concerns meeting the word limit. 
  1. Cover Page - Title and list of authors and their affiliations, and signature of the sponsoring research mentor.
  2. Abstract - An abbreviated summary of the report's elements (150 words).
  3. Introduction - A brief presentation/introduction of topical concepts required by the uninformed reader to understand the background and rational for your study.
  4. Materials and Methods - A description of critical reagents, procedures, and assays used to generate experimental data.  The experimental design and methods used to statistically analyze your data needs to be presented, including a description of all relevant "control" observations for your assays and the number of observations ("n") for each data group.
  5. Experimental hypothesis being tested (e.g.,"The goal of this experiment was to test the effect of X treatment on Y parameter.") or the purpose of the research (e.g., "The purpose of the experimentation was to develop an X assay to measure Y parameter.") 
  6. Results - The formal presentation and description of your experimental data.   Be sure to include a statement indicating that conductance of the experimentation complied with the specific applicable Chemical Hygiene, Radiation Safety, Institutional Biological Safety, and Institutional Animal Care and Use protocols required for you to conduct your project.  The experimental design and methods used to statistically analyze your data needs to be presented, including a description of all relevant "control" observations for your assays and the number of observations ("n") for each data group.
  7. Discussion - A written discussion of your data in terms of what your data revealed, how your data compare to what others have seen in analogous experiments in identical or comparable experimental models, and the physiological/practical relevance of your observations to a given experimental/biological model and/or field of research.
    Note:  Sometimes it is useful to combine the Results and Discussion sections into a single manuscript component (i.e., a Results and Discussion section).
  8. Conclusions - A formal statement about the conclusion(s) drawn from your data as it applies to the goal/hypothesis tested in the experiment. That is, did you accept or reject the experimental hypothesis? Was an assay successfully developed? Or, was the data inconclusive for whatever reasons?
  9. References - A listing of the sources for the citations used in your report.


Due in Canvas by 5:00pm May 6.

For many students ABT 395/399 reprsents the pinnacle of their undergraduate research experince and allows for an important oportunity to reflect on their journey as a scientist through the program.  Additionally, while important for your own growth, other peers may also find inspiration from your reflection.  For this assignment, you are asked to respond to the prompt below in one or two formats (written or visual), and invited to release that product for the ABT program to share on our website to hopefully inspire past, current, and future students.  Declining to publicly share your product will not negatively impact your grade on this assigment, so please do not feel any pressure to do so.

Prompt:  Evaluate how your experience in the program has influenced your outlook on the relationship between society and biotechnology, and how your personal philosphies and values have been infuenced as a consequence of the program.  

Product option 1 - Video:  Record a 2-3 minute video (on a webcam, smartphone, etc.).  While we do no expect professional-level videography, please ensure that the camer is not too shaky, the viewer can see your face, and the audio is clear.  Also while notes may be helpful, please avoid reading from a script, and focus on a genuine dialogue that will (hopefully!) inspire your peers.

Product option 2 - Written testimonial:  Write a minimum 250-word essay.  This product will be assessed for content rather that grammar and diction, but please write it to the best of your ability.


All assignments due in Canvas by 5:00 PM on assigned date.

    1. 5:00 PM January 13:  Mandatory Informational meeting in the foyer of the Plant Science Building. 
    2. 5:00 PM February 4:  Learning Contract & Photo Release documents due 
    3. 5:00 PM April 11 - title of the presentation; the full name, departmental affiliation, email address of their mentor; and any class/work conflicts with the presentation date/time.
    4. April 13:  Oral presentations schedule posted
    5. April 19 and April 21 - Oral presentations 
    6. 5:00 PM May 2 - The written report due, MUST be signed by your faculty research mentor (or have them email Dr. Kachroo the approval
    7. 5:00 PM May 6 - Personal reflections (written or video format) due