​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Research in BESE is focused on the molecular and cellular mechanisms through which organisms sense, adapt and respond to the environment and to the development of innovative technologies that provide support to this mission.

At the more applied level, research projects in the Division center on how to intervene on the environment to respond to the increasing needs of food and water availability, how human activity affects environmental systems at an integrated level and how such interventions, in turn, affect living organisms.

BESE boasts state-of-the-art facilities and resources, including some of the most advanced equipment in the world for genomics, proteomics, imaging/characterization, nanofabrication, and capability to explore global marine environments.​


The Faculty at BESE belong to one of two communities: Bioscience and Biological Engineering or Environmental Science Engineering. Those communities cover the following Research Areas.


Research at the BESE Division brings students, faculty, and researchers together to push the frontiers of science through collaborative inquiry into issues of global and regional significance. 

In order to accomplish its mission and establish a knowledge and advanced technology platform, research in the BESE Division is developed around seven research fields. These research fields are communities of faculty that work in related areas and are divided further into more specialized topics of research. 

The interaction between the faculty communities active in specific research fields goes beyond the BESE Division and it is expected that these communities will draw on interdisciplinary competencies and maintain interactions with faculty from all KAUST Academic Divisions. 

For more information about each research field and their topics of research please click on the links below:

Faculty LabsResearch in the BESE Division is driven by independent faculty labs.See all BESE labs

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KAUST Research Centers invest in major projects and provide thematic focus and critical mass to pursue goal-oriented research that addresses significant challenges for the Kingdom and the world.  

The BESE Division has two affiliated Research Centers: the Red Sea Research Center and the Water Desalination and Reuse Center. For more information about them click on the links below to visit their websites:​​​

The Red Sea Research Center (RSRC) is well-positioned and well-equipped to study the Red Sea with state-of-the-art facilities and world-class researchers. The RSRC has delved into the volume of research necessary to formulate a comprehensive understanding of the Red Sea to conserve its rich ecology and sustain its economic eminence.

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In the Water Desalination and Reuse Center (WDRC), we develop and optimize methods to improve water desalination processes to provide potable water in drought-stricken areas. This is especially important in desert regions where seawater can be a drought-proof water resource. We also develop water reclamation and reuse strategies and processes to sustain scarce water resources.

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Center for Desert Agriculture (CDA)
The Desert Agriculture Initiative seeks to tackle the wider suite of difficult challenges posed by agriculture in a desert environment under hot climate and poor freshwater conditions by bringing together a variety of skills and expertise both within and beyond KAUST.

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The BESE Division has three research initiatives aligned with the Divisional mission. For more information about them, click on the links below to visit their websites:

The mission of KAUST Environmental Epigenetics Program (KEEP) is to advance fundamental knowledge using any model organism and develop technologies to unravel the basic mechanisms that control genome function beyond DNA code and the ability of cells, to learn, communicate and adapt to the environment.

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Research in the BESE Division is focused on the molecular and cellular mechanisms through which organisms sense, adapt and respond to the environment and the development of innovative technologies. Bio-NEST: from bench to innovation, describes focal areas of basic and applied research in Biotechnology, Neuroscience, Epigenetics and Stem Cell Biology, supported by cutting-edge Technologies.

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