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COVID-19: Coronavirus Research and Resources: KAUST Research on COVID-19

This guide is designed to help KAUST researchers and the community to access the latest scholarly and authoritative information on the COVID-19 outbreak.

KAUST Research on COVID-19

The KAUST Coronavirus Portal features the key efforts of the university to address the COVID-19 pandemic:

Rapid Research Response Team (R3T)

KAUST has assembled a team of faculty to research the COVID-19 pandemic.  The group, called the Rapid Research Response Team (R3T) has already produced several publications on COVID-19:

Rapid Research Response Team (R3T)


Alam, I., Kamau, A. K., Kulmanov, M., Arold, S. T., Pain, A. T., Gojobori, T., & Duarte, C. M. (2020). Functional pangenome analysis suggests inhibition of the protein E as a readily available therapy for COVID-2019. doi:10.1101/2020.02.17.952895
Direct access from the KAUST Repository:

Bi, C., Ramos-Mandujano, G., Hala, S.,  Xu, J., Mfarrej, S., Alofi, F. S., Khogeer, A., Hashem, A. M., Almontashiri, N. A. M., Pain, A., & Li, M. (2020). Multiplex Isothermal Amplification Coupled with Nanopore Sequencing for Rapid Detection and Mutation Surveillance of SARS-CoV-2. doi:10.1101/2020.06.12.20129247
Direct access from the KAUST Repository:

Jamil, T., Alam, I. S., Gojobori, T., & Duarte, C. (2020). No Evidence for Temperature-Dependence of the COVID-19 Epidemic.  doi:10.1101/2020.03.29.20046706
Direct access from the KAUST Repository:

Ketcheson, D. I., Ombao, H. C., Moraga, P., Ballal, T., & Duarte, C. M. (2020).  Estimating and forecasting COVID-19 attack rates and mortality. doi:10.1101/2020.05.11.20097972
Direct access from the KAUST Repository:

Liu-Wei, W., Kafkas, Ş., Chen, J., Tegnér, J., & Robert Hoehndorf, R.  (2020).  Prediction of novel virus–host interactions by integrating clinical symptoms and protein sequences.  doi:10.1101/2020.04.22.055095
Direct access from the KAUST Repository:

Maddirevula, S., Kuwahara, H., Ewida, N., Shamseldin, H. E., Patel, N., Alzahrani, F., AlSheddi, T., AlObeid, E., Alenazi, M., Alsaif, H. S., Alqahtani, M., AlAli, M., Al Ali, H., Helaby, R., Ibrahim, N., Abdulwahab, F., Hashem, M., Hanna, N., Monies, D., . . . Alkuraya, F. S. (2020).  Analysis of transcript-deleterious variants in Mendelian disorders: implications for RNA-based diagnostics. doi:10.1186/s13059-020-02053-9
Direct access from the KAUST Repository:

Moraga, P., Ketcheson, D.I., Ombao, H.C. & Duarte, C.M.  (2020).  Assessing the age- and gender-dependence of the severity and case fatality rates of COVID-19 disease in Spain.

Napolitano, F., Gambardella, G., Carrella, D.,  Gao, X., & di Bernardo D. (2020).  Computational Drug Repositioning and Elucidation of Mechanism of Action of Compounds against SARS-CoV-2.
Direct access from the KAUST Repository:

Queralt-Rosinach, N., Bello, S., Hoehndorf, R., Weiland, C.,  Philippe Rocca-Serra, P., & Schofield, P. N. (2020). Modeling quantitative traits for COVID-19 case reports. doi:10.1101/2020.06.18.20135103
Direct access from the KAUST Repository:

Ramos-Mandujano, G., Salunke, R., Mfarrej, S., Rachmadi, A., Hala, S., Xu, J., Alofi, F. S., Khogeer, A., Hashem, A. M., Almontashiri, N. A. M., Alsomali, A., Hamdan, S., Hong, P., Pain, A., & Li, M. (2020).  A Robust, Safe and Scalable Magnetic Nanoparticle Workflow for RNA Extraction of Pathogens from Clinical and Environmental Samples.  doi:10.1101/2020.06.28.20141945
Direct access from the KAUST Repository:

Rutz, C., Loretto, M. -C., Bates, A. E., Davidson, S. C., Duarte, C. M., Jetz, W., Johnson, M., Kato, A., Kays, R., Mueller, T., Primack, R. B., Ropert-Coudert, Y., M., Tucker, M. A., Wikelski, M., & Cagnacci, F. (2020). COVID-19 lockdown allows researchers to quantify the effects of human activity on wildlife. doi:10.1038/s41559-020-1237-z
Direct access from the KAUST Repository:

Zhou, L., Li, Z., Zhou, J., Li, H., Chen, Y., Huang, Y., Xie, D., Zhao, L.,  Fan, M., Hashmi, S., AbdelKareem, F., Eiada, R., Xiao, X., Li, L., Qiu, Z., & Gao, X. (2020). A Rapid, Accurate and Machine-agnostic Segmentation and Quantification Method for CT-based COVID-19 Diagnosis. doi:10.1109/TMI.2020.3001810
Direct access from the KAUST Repository:

As the Rapid Research Response Team continues its research, more publications will be announced and shared with the global scientific community.  You can search the KAUST Repository for these papers as they are written and shared with the world.

COVID Compass

The COVID Compass is an international effort joined by KAUST scientists to publish a global data dashboard on the COVID-19 pandemic.


The main objective of the COVID Compass is to  "develop a real-time data dashboard that maps the most critical trends, events and impacts around the world in an easy-to-digest format with robust, timely data on a platform that is nimble and scalable and uses AI-drive sentiment analysis, trend modeling and real-time media monitoring."

KAUST COVID-19 Presentations and Media

24 June 2020:  Sci-Café: COVID-19 Part IV:  featuring panelists Charlotte Hauser, Stefan Arold and Magdy Mahfouz, with moderator Naadiya Carrim

20 May 2020:  Sci-Café: COVID-19 Part III, featuring panelists Peiying Hong, Thomas Anthopoulos and Xiangliang Zhang, with moderator Naadiya Carrim

29 April 2020:  Sci-Café: COVID-19 Part II,  featuring panelists Xin Gao, Samir Hamdan and Barry Hogan, with moderator Naadiya Carrim.


10 April 2020:  Sciencetown Podcast Episode 11:  "Racing to Understand"


8 April 2020: Sci-Café on COVID-19, featuring panelists Takashi Gojobori, David Ketcheson and Arnab Pain, with moderator Naadiya Carrim:


8 April 2020:  Asbar World Forum:  "The World After the Coronavirus"


1 April 2020:  Sciencetown Podcast Episode 10:  "Understanding the Pandemic"


30 March 2020:  KAUST Community COVID-19 Innovation Challenge:  Zoom Webinar recording 

KAUST COVID-19 Research in the News

KAUST Coronavirus Portal News Website:

​KAUST COVID-19 News Articles by Date:  

3 August 2020:  Near-identical protein on SARS and COVID-19 could be targeted by FDA-approved drugs (Drug Target Review)
31 July 2020:  New Data on Genetic Expression In Severe COVID-19, Pre-Existing Immune Response (Bio-IT World)
27 July 2020:  SARS-CoV-2 envelope protein identified as target for antiviral drugs (The Scientist Advisory Board)
27 July 2020:  Studying COVID-19's envelope protein (EurekAlert!)
17 July 2020:  Detecting and tracking coronavirus is hard, but not impossible (Mirage News)
13 July 2020:  Polyimide membrane allows re-use of N95 respirators (The Engineer)
10 July 2020:  How to make masks that everyone will want to wear (National Geographic)
6 July 2020:  COVID-19 drives the need for supercomputing resources in research (HPC Wire)
17 June 2020:  Detecting and tracking coronavirus is hard, but not impossible (Mirage News)
28 May 2020:  This filter for the front of an N95 mask could make it reusable (Fast Company)
21 May 2020:  A replaceable, more efficient filter for N95 masks (Science Daily)
19 May 2020:  Tracking the curve: Analyzing the emotional response to COVID-19 (Academic Stories)
13 May 2020:  160 scientists virtually gather in S20 information session (Saudi Gazette)
5 May 2020:  How antibody testing can stem spread of COVID-19 (Mirage News)
5 May 2020:  Shaheen II Supercomputer to power COVID-19 research (Inside HPC)
1 May 2020:  Sharif Hala, biomedical researcher and co-founder of NoorD (Arab News)
27 April 2020:  Shining a light on SARS-CoV-2 virus (Mirage News)
22 April 2020:  Saudi university research team leads global fight against COVID-19 (Arab News)
18 April 2020:  The fight against COVID-19, a Saudi perspective (Saudi Gazette)
15 April 2020:  Top Saudi research team gets government funding to help find COVID-19 vaccine (Arab News)
14 April 2020:  Top Saudi research team gets govt funding to help find COVID-19 vaccine (Zawya)
14 April 2020:  Hope for the oceans in a time of COVID-19 (Environmental Defense Fund Blog)
9 April 2020:  Understanding COVID wave (Mirage News)
6 April 2020:  A silver lining for research at a time of pandemic (Nature Middle East)