How do I know who my advisor is? Can I change my advisor?

​For M.S. students, your advisor when you are admitted to KAUST is the Program Chair. For Ph.D. students, your advisor is your PI (supervisor) whose lab you have been accepted in to. 

Yes, you can change your advisor. M.S. students are advised to do so if/when they begin their thesis or directed research.  Ph.D. students do have the ability to change advisors, but the overall impact to the Ph.D. project, as well as the time left to finish the Ph.D., could be significant.  This will have to be taken into account before approval.

​M.S. students need 36 credits (combination of courses and research is specific to your program). 

Ph.D. students need 6 credits of 300-level coursework and will earn dissertation research credit each semester until they defend (no minimum credits established, although there is a minimum residency requirement of 2.5 years).

​During your final M.S. semester at KAUST, you will be eligible to submit a “rollover” application.  You will be contacted by the Admissions Office for this.  You must have a confirmed supervisor in order for the application to be approved.

​M.S. students get all university holidays (Eid Al-Fitr, Eid Al-Adha, Spring break).  

Ph.D. students get university holidays and three weeks of annual/vacation leave per calendar year to be taken in agreement with your PI.

​Mandatory, core and elective courses are listed in the program guide. The program guides for all BESE programs can be found here 
​“Time Extension to Complete M.S. Thesis” application request can be submitted by the 9th week of your final Fall semester.  See application for required approvals here .
​No.  Only once during your time here at KAUST.  If “WE Courses” appears on your KAUST transcript, that means you have met this requirement.​
​Yes, both M.S. and Ph.D. in all BESE programs must register, attend, and receive an S grade for the graduate seminar each semester (Spring and Fall, NOT summer).

​Yes. Drop and Add deadlines are on the academic calendar.

​Your GPC can help you request these from the Registrar’s Office, or you can contact them directly at  RegistrarHelpDesk@KAUST.EDU.SA​​ 

Latest Events

Harnessing CRISPR Systems for the Point-of-Care Multiplex Detection of Pathogens

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted traditional diagnostic methods and highlighted the demand for decentralized Point of Care (POC) solutions. While nucleic acid testing is recognized as the most precise disease detection approach for a wide array of conditions, existing testing platforms are costly, limited to centralized laboratories, and unsuitable for low-resource environments. CRISPR-based diagnostics have emerged as promising tools with the potential to transform the field of molecular diagnostics. These platforms are cost-effective, straightforward, and do not necessitate specialized equipment, suggesting their capacity to decentralize access to disease diagnosis. However, there are several challenges associated with the current platforms when it comes to POC applications, including issues related to multiplexing. 
First, I examine significant advancements in the field, with a particular focus on the obstacles posed by sample processing, stability, multiplexing, amplification-free detection, signal interpretation, and process automation. I also explore potential solutions for revolutionizing CRISPR-based diagnostics, aiming to create sample-to-answer diagnostic solutions suitable for POC and home use.
Second, I develop a vision for an ideal diagnostic test—a test that is user-friendly and goes from sample to answer in one step, demonstrating the capability of detecting multiple pathogens in one run. With this vision in mind, I attempt to create a LAMP-enabled CRISPR-based multiplexing platform capable of detecting three targets in a single-step reaction chemistry.

Ahmed Ghouneimy is an MS student at the Genome Engineering and Synthetic Biology Lab.


Ahmed Ghouneimy