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

Multi-Omic and Scientometric Exploration of Under-Investigated Biology in Aging and Beyond

The realms of genome research and medicine have been prolific in generating vast amounts of data. Yet, the surge in data has not proportionately translated into a deeper exploration of the biology associated with genes that have a low-profile in the biomedical literature, especially those not frequently mentioned prior to the completion of the Human Genome Project in 2003.

Addressing this discrepancy, I have employed a combination of multi-omic analyses and scientometric methods to pinpoint and understand the obstacles that hinder further research into these genes. This approach, which minimizes the need for extensive biological experimentation, has already yielded promising opportunities. A notable accomplishment is my identification of a primary cause of gene expression changes in aging across humans and animals, termed Gene Length-dependent Transcription Decline. In addition to this, in unpublished work, I am collaborating with a major funding agency. Together, we're using Artificial Intelligence and historical archives to understand the optimal ways to foster and sustain innovation in the fields of genome research and medicine.

My aim is to expand on this groundwork to develop a robust and influential research program that actively pursues the under-investigated realms of biology, particularly in the context of aging. This approach has immense potential to pave the way for my trainees to emerge as pioneers in future research fields. According to scientometric data, Saudi Arabia is a hub for research into under-investigated genes, aligning with the nation's Vision 2030 and highlighting the significance of genetic variants of these genes for patients and their families. This congruence underscores the relevance and impact of my research direction, both regionally and globally.

Thomas Stoeger studied molecular biology in the University of Vienna in the laboratory of Juergen Knoblich, where he contributed to genome-wide screens in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster. For his PhD he joined the laboratory of Lucas Pelkmans at the University of Zurich, where he co-developed experimental and computational approaches for the initial generation of image-based spatial transcriptomics. For this work he received the Annual Award of the University of Zurich for the best PhD thesis in the sciences. To combine discovery based biology with quantitative studies of science, he subsequently did his Postdoc at Northwestern University, Chicago. There he was an awarded a highly competitive and interdisciplinary data science scholarship, and was mentored by Luis Amaral, Scott Budinger, Richard Morimoto and Elizabeth McNally. Supported with an R00 grant of the National Institute of Aging, he joined Northwestern University as Assistant Professor in October 2023.


Dr. Thomas Stöger