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Empowering Women in Science

The BESE Division at KAUST

Female empowerment in science

The BESE Division shines in groundbreaking research and gender equality, with women comprising 22% of faculty and 62% of the student body. The women of BESE are pioneers, embodying the crucial role of women in the advancement of science and technology. BESE's dedication to creating an environment where women excel in research is a testament to our commitment to inclusivity and excellence in science.


BESE faculty 

Faculty Representation: Leading by Example 

The 22% female faculty representation in BESE is a clear indicator of KAUST's commitment to gender diversity in academic leadership. These women are not just educators but also pioneers in their respective fields, leading cutting-edge research and inspiring the next generation of female scientists.


BESE students 

Student Participation: Shaping the Future 

The fact that 62% of BESE students are women reflects a paradigm shift in the academic landscape. These students are the future of scientific research and innovation. Their overwhelming presence in BESE signifies a future where gender balance in science is the norm, not the exception. 


BESE In-Kingdom Alumnae 

Career Progression: Making a Mark Post-Graduation 

Remarkably, 47% of female BESE graduates have chosen to continue their professional journey in Saudi Arabia. This high retention rate is indicative of the conducive environment that KAUST provides for female scientists to thrive and contribute to the nation's growing scientific community. 

World-leading researchers

Professor Suzana Nunes was named a 2023 L'Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Laureate for her pioneering work in developing nanomaterials for molecule separation with a low carbon footprint.

Three BESE students, Asma Al-Amoodi, Walaa Khushaim, and Hajar Al-Zarah, were selected as Lindau Nobel Laureates in the fields of bioscience and bioengineering.

Postdoc Dr. Sherin Abdelrahman developed 3D brain models for neurodegenerative disease research, offering significant advances in understanding and treating conditions like Parkinson’s disease.

Asma Al-Amoodi's journey into STEM, mentored by Professor Jasmeen Merzaban, led her to pursue a Ph.D. in bioscience with a focus on improving hematopoietic stem cell therapy for leukemia patients.

In her pursuit of a Ph.D. in bioengineering at KAUST, Razan Yahya is making significant strides in engineering microalgae to produce valuable chemicals sustainably.

Professor Leena Ali Ibrahim's pioneering research at KAUST is uncovering complex brain connections between the senses, holding promise for potential treatments in conditions like autism and schizophrenia.

Professor Raquel Peixoto won the Rachel Carson Prize for preserving Saudi coral reefs via microbiome restoration and probiotics, aiding ocean sustainability.

Professor Monika Chodasiewicz's research on stress granules in plants could enhance resilience against drought, revolutionizing agriculture and food security.

Professor Peiying Hong and Ph.D. student Bothayna Algashgari reveal complex gene transfer factors in wastewater, aligning with Saudi Vision 2030 for enhanced water reuse.

"Women in science at KAUST are catalysts of innovation, breaking barriers, and paving the way for a brighter scientific future."

Iain Young, Dean of BESE

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