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.  


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.

Normally, students enroll for 3 credits when the course will be completed in an academic semester and 4 credits when the project extends over the summer or more than one semester. The course may be repeated for a maximum of 6 credits. However, enrollment up to 6 credits requires completion of the required 3 or 4 credit course: i.e., a student cannot enroll in additional credit hours until they receive 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 Fall 2021 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.  The completed learning contract should be submitted the CAFE Office of Student Success, N-24C Agriculture Science Center.


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 (or learning contract if ABT 399)
  2. Completion of the approved research activites under the supervision of a faculty mentor
  3. Submission of a Written Report--see below.
  4. Presentation of an Oral Report--see below.

The Written Report and the Oral Report must be approved by the research mentor. It is imperative that you discuss your report and presentation with your mentor to allow them the opportunity to comment/edit/approve. This is more that just a courtesy since the data are "owned" by the lab (i.e., the faculty member or company where you did your project).


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.
*If you have already filed a Student Information Sheet (from a previous semester), and the contact and project information has not changed, then just state this fact on the Spring 2020 Student Information Sheet and submit via Canvas.

Please Note:

  1. Informational meeting will be held at 5:00pm on Friday, August 27 in the PSB foyer.
  2.  Student Information Sheet and Student Acknowledgement of Risk Form are due in Canvas by 5:00pm on Friday, September 3.  


Grades will be composed of the following components:
50%   (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.)
20%   (b) Written Report
20%   (b) Oral Presentation 
10%   (b) Student’s compliance with course instructions (e.g., turn in the Student Information Sheet and class materials on time, etc.)

(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 November 22, 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. Please make every effort to indicate class or other conflicts at the time of title submission. 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.
  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 Wednesday, November 24.
  3. The oral presentation must be shared with your mentor WELL in ADVANCE (at least 1 week before your final presenttion is due in Canvas) for approval and feedback.  Last minute submissions to mentor may affect your grade.  
  4. Final oral presentation files are due in Canvas by 12:00 Noon Monday, November 29  (NO EXCEPTIONS).
  5. Oral ABT 395/399 research presentations are scheduled on Tuesday, November 30 and Thursday, December 2, in the ground floor auditorium (Cameron Williams Lecture Hall) of the Plant Science Building. However, this schedule may change depending on the number of students presenting this semester. 
  6. Dr. Kachroo will try to schedule a student's seminar time to accommodate their class schedule, etc.   However, those 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.
  7. 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 additional questions from faculty members.
  8. Individual student practice sessions (PowerPoint slideshow) can be arranged with Dr. Kachroo up through April 19.  Alternatively, Dr. Kachroo may be able to review your presentation and make suggestions through e-mail, if you send her your Powerpoint file by November 19 .


  1. One copy of your written report - along with mentor approval (signature) is due in Canvas by 5:00 PM December 13. Alternatively, your mentor may send their approval via email to Dr. Kachroo.
  2. The ABT 395/399 written reports must be in the form of a scientific journal of your mentor's choosing.
  3. The written reports must be provided to your mentor WELL in ADVANCE for approval.  Last minute submissions may affect your grade.  
  4. However, the written reports MUST CONTAIN the following components:
      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. Results - The formal presentation and description of your experimental data.  This section should state the 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.")  Be sure to include a stmatement 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.
      6. 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).
      7. 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?
      8. References - A listing of the sources for the citations used in your report.
      9. Word limit for items 3-8= 10000-30000


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

    1. August 27--Mandatory Informational meeting at 5:00 PM, in the foyer of the Plant Science Building. 
    2. September 3--Completed Student Information Sheet and Student Acknowledgement of Risk Form are due in Canvas. 
    3. November 22--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. November 24--The announcement/speaker schedules for the oral presentations will be posted in Canvas, around campus and on the ABT website.
    5. Noon on November 29--Final oral presentation files due in Canvas by 12:00 PMNo changes to your presentation will be allowed after this date.
    6. November 30 & December 2--Oral presentations.
    7. December 13--The written report, signed by your faculty research mentor is due in Canvas. Alternatively, your mentor may send their approval via email to Dr. Kachroo.

*Even if you have already filed a Student Information Sheet from a previous semester and the contact and project information has not changed, please submit a new sheet for Fall 2021.