Aaron A. Smargon

Post-Doctoral Fellow
Cellular and Molecular Medicine
asmargon at ucsd.edu


A.B. Astrophysical Sciences, Princeton University, 2011
S.M. Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2016
Ph.D. Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2018


Aaron Smargon received his A.B. in Astrophysical Sciences from Princeton University. As an undergraduate with Rachel Mandelbaum he studied large-scale intrinsic alignments of galaxy clusters in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. After working on a startup for two years, he returned to graduate school at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he earned an S.M. and Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. While researching in the laboratory of Feng Zhang at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, Aaron led the discovery and characterization of Cas13b, a differentially regulated RNA-targeting class 2 CRISPR system. As a postdoctoral scholar in the Yeo Lab, Aaron is interested in combining molecular tools and assays with genomic and transcriptomic data to interrogate the genetic and neurophysiological underpinnings of learning, memory, and psychiatric disorders.


A.A Smargon, Y.J. Shi, G.W. Yeo. RNA-targeting CRISPR systems from metagenomic discovery to transcriptomic engineering. 2020. Nat cell Biol.

A.A. Smargon§, D.B.T. Cox§ , N.K. Pyzocha§, K. Zheng, I.M. Slaymaker, …, F. Zhang. Cas13b is a type VI-B CRISPR-associated RNA-guided RNase differentially regulated by accessory proteins Csx27 and Csx28. 2017. Molecular Cell. 65(4), 618.

S. Shmakov, A. Smargon, D. Scott, D. Cox, N. Pyzocha, …, F. Zhang, E.V. Koonin. Diversity and evolution of class 2 CRISPR–Cas systems. 2017. Nature Reviews Microbiology. 15(3), 169.

A. Smargon, R. Mandelbaum, N. Bahcall, and M. Niederste-Ostholt. Detection of intrinsic cluster alignments to 100h−1 Mpc in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. 2012. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. 423(1), 856.

P. Lee, J. Waalen, K. Crain, A. Smargon, and E. Beutler. Human Chitotriosidase Polymorphisms G354R and A442V Associated with Reduced Enzyme Activity. 2007. Blood Cells, Molecules and Diseases. 39(3), 353.