Kashif Nawaz

Postdoctoral Fellows



B2/L2 - Sea Side - 2207-WS08

Research Interests

My prime interest is to investigate the role of epigenetics in helping corals to adapt in rapidly increasing global temperature. I am trying to find connections between the DNA methylation pattern, along with few histone modifications, and gene expression at a global level. And linking this for explaining the phenotypic responses, majorly bleaching, with rise in temperature. It's interesting to know at what extent corals can survive after ejection of algae (provide food and magnificent colors to coral) in higher temperatures. 

I basically love to play with big data generated from cells; especially NGS data. I consider my expertise is helping to connect biology with bioinformatics, and try to solve the data-driven problems for a biological system.  Apart from running pipelines, I focuses more what final visualization from data trying to say in terms of new discoveries and significance.

Besides performing bioinformatics analysis and code writing in Python and R, I am learning different
 effective ways to convey scientific findings to diverse audiences. This includes mainly use of common metaphors to relate my message, inclusion of several variables in one graph to make it more informative (same time not increasing its complexity), and overcoming the art of writing so that my finings look more appealing and comprehensive.

Selected Publications

  • Genome invasion by hypo-methylated satellite repeat in Australian crucifer Ballantinia antipoda
    PA Finke A, Mandáková T, Nawaz K, Vu G, Novák P, Macas J, Lysak MA
    The Plant Journal, (2019)
  • Perpetual flowering coordinates the vernalization response and perennial flowering in Arabis alpina
    Ana Lazaro, Yanhao Zhou, Miriam Giesguth, Kashif Nawaz, Sara Bergonzi, Ales Pecinka, Georg...
    Journal of experimental botany, (2018)
  • Draft genome sequence of Cicer reticulatum L., the wild progenitor of chickpea provides a resource for agronomic trait improvement
    Sonal Gupta, Kashif Nawaz (co-first author), Sabiha Parween, Riti Roy, Kamlesh Sahu, Anil Kumar Pole,...
    Dna Research, (2016)
  • An advanced draft genome assembly of a desi type chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.)
    Sabiha Parween, Kashif Nawaz (co-first author), Riti Roy, Anil K Pole, B Venkata Suresh,...
    Scientific reports, (2015)
  • Global analysis of WRKY transcription factor superfamily in Setaria identifies potential candidates involved in abiotic stress signaling
    Mehanathan Muthamilarasan, Venkata S Bonthala, Rohit Khandelwal, Jananee Jaishankar, Shweta Shweta, Kashif Nawaz and Manoj Prasad
    Frontiers in plant science, (2015)


  • Ph.D. Nucleosome Dynamics in Plants - Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding, Cologne, Germany (2015 - 2018)
  • Master (M. Tech.) Computational and Systems Biology - Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India (2012 - 2014)
  • Bachelor (B. Tech.) Industrial Biotechnology - Dr. MGR University, Chennai, India (2008 - 2014)

Professional Profile

  • ​Postdoctoral Fellow - KAUST, Thuwal, KSA (2019 - Present)
  • Research Assistant - Institute of Experimental Botany, Olomouc, Czech Republic (2017 - 2018)
  • Research Fellow - National Institute of Plant Genome Research, New Delhi, India (2014 - 2015) 
  • Bioinformatics Analyst - Institute of Bioinformatics, Bangalore, India (2011 - 2012)

Scientific and Professional Membership

​Society for Experimental Biology (SEB)


  • ​The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) PhD Fellowship, Germany (2015)
  • Department Biotechnology (DBT), Govt. of India Fellowship for JRF, India (2012)
  • Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE) fellowship for M. Tech, India (2012)
  • All India IISc. Entrance Examination for PhD, conducted by Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India (2012)

KAUST Affiliations

​● Red Sea Research Center (RSRC)

● Biological and Environmental Science and Engineering Division (BESE)

Non-KAUST Affiliations

Research Interests Keywords

Bioinformatics Genomics Epigenetics Symbiosis Comparative Genomics