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Aashiq H. Kachroo, PhD.

Assistant Professor, Center for Applied Synthetic Biology, Biology
Canada Research Chair Tier 2 in Systems & Synthetic Biology, Biology

Aashiq H. Kachroo, PhD.
Phone: (514) 848-2424 ext. 2493
Website(s): Laboratory web page
Availability: Lab - GE 320.01
Lab Phone 514-848-2424 ext. 5977


PhD (Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, INDIA)
PDF (The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX, USA)

Teaching activities


Molecular Biology


Agriculture & Agri-Food Biotechnology/ Advanced Biotechnology

Research activities

Engineering complex biological processes in simplified cells

The most deeply evolutionarily conserved human genes encode essential cellular machinery whose failures are linked to diverse diseases, from cancer to cardiovascular disease. Recent systematic studies have discovered extensive genetic polymorphism in these genes yet studying how these variations contribute to cellular function and overall human health remains a challenge. Our group is interested in studying these conserved human genes along with many of their variants, by systematically humanizing yeast cells, replacing each of the essential yeast genes in turn by its human version. The resulting strains will serve as new physical reagents for studying the human genes in a simplified organismal context, opening up simple high-throughput assays of human gene function, analyzing the impact of human genetic variation on gene function, the screening and repurposing of drugs and the rapid determination of mechanisms of drug resistance. Our work will illuminate fundamental principles of evolution, providing direct measurements of whether or not human and yeast genes have retained their ancestral functions over a billion years of evolutionary divergence.    

Humanized yeast - a platform for decoding human genetic variation and drug discovery
Photo credit: Aashiq H. Kachroo


  • * Equal author
  • & Corresponding author
  • Pre-print
    1. Garge RK*, Cha HJ*, Lee C, Gollihar JD, Kachroo AH, Wallingford JB&, Marcotte EM&. Antifungal benzimidazoles disrupt vasculature by targeting one of nine beta-tubulins. bioRxiv. 2020 (link


    1. Garge RK, Laurent JM, Kachroo AH&, Marcotte EM&. Systematic humanization of the yeast cytoskeleton discerns functionally replaceable from divergent human genes. Genetics. 2020; PMID: 32522745 (link

2. Laurent JM, Garge RK, Teufel AI, Wilke CO, Kachroo AH&, Marcotte EM&. Humanization of yeast genes with multiple human orthologs reveals functional divergence between paralogs. PLoS Biology. 2020; PMID:32421706. (link)

3. Teufel AI, Johnson MM, Laurent JM, Kachroo AH, Marcotte EM, Wilke CO. The many nuanced evolutionary consequences of duplicated genes. Molecular Biology and Evolution. 2019; PMID: 30428072

4. Akhmetov A, Laurent JM, Gollihar J, Gardner EC, Garge RK, Ellington AD, Kachroo AH&, Marcotte EM&. Single-step Precision Genome Editing in Yeast Using CRISPR-Cas9. Bio-protocol. 2018; PMID: 29770349. (link)

5. Kachroo AH*&, Laurent JM*, Akhmetov A, Szilagyi-Jones M, McWhite CD, Zhao A,Marcotte EM&. Systematic bacterialization of yeast genes identifies a near-universally swappable pathway. eLife. 2017 Jun 29;6. pii: e25093. doi: 10.7554/eLife.25093. PMID: 28661399. (link)

6. Laurent JM, Young JH, Kachroo AH, Marcotte EM. Efforts to make and apply humanized yeast. Brief Funct Genomics. 2016, PMID: 26462863. (link

7. Cannon B*, Kachroo AH*, Jarmoskaite I, Jayaram M, Russell R. Hexapeptides that inhibit processing of branched DNA structures induce a dynamic ensemble of Holliday junction conformations. J Biol Chem. 2015 Sep 11;290(37):22734-46. PMID: 26209636;PMCID: PMC4566245. (link)

8. Kachroo AH, Laurent JM, Yellman CM, Meyer AG, Wilke CO, Marcotte EM&. Evolution. Systematic humanization of yeast genes reveals conserved functions and genetic modularity. Science. 2015 May 22;348(6237):921-5. PMID: 25999509; PMCID: PMC4718922. (link)

9. Rowley PA*, Kachroo AH*, Ma CH, Maciaszek AD, Guga P, Jayaram M. Stereospecific suppression of active site mutants by methylphosphonate substituted substrates reveals the stereochemical course of site-specific DNA recombination. Nucleic Acids Res. 2015 Jul 13;43(12):6023-37. PMID: 25999343; PMCID: PMC4499138. (link



Participation activities

Undergraduate mentorship

Concordia University-iGEM supervisor

2019- Gold Medal at iGEM 2019 & nomination for the Best Presentation 
2020- Gold Medal at iGEM 2020 & Best Software Award

Research & Infrastructure funding


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