Kerafast was founded in 2011 to help scientists around the world easily access rare and unique reagents created by academic researchers. Since then, Kerafast has continued to pursue its mission to advance scientific research by facilitating access to over 3,000 reagents and shipping reagents to researchers in 66 countries, across 6 continents.
In July 2021, Kerafast reached another major milestone through its partnership with King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), the 200th institution to join Kerafast as a providing institution. As Kerafast’s first institution in the Middle East and North Africa, KAUST will add to Kerafast’s reagent portfolio in unique ways to advance science and connect researchers. Read the full press release here.
Since its inception in 2009, KAUST has become a leading research institution in the development of technologies to address issues and challenges faced by the Middle East and North Africa. Access to potable water is one such issue, and according to the Population Reference Bureau, 30% of the world’s total seawater desalination occurs in Saudi Arabia. The costly process of water desalination hinders access to potable water locally, but researchers at the Water Desalination and Reuse Center are working to develop technologies to improve access to fresh drinking water in Saudi Arabia that can then be applied globally.
In 2019, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries listed Saudi Arabia as possessing 17% of the petroleum reserves in the world. Revenue from the petroleum industry account for 50% of the nation’s GDP and 70% of Saudi Arabia’s export earnings. The research conducted at KAUST’s Petroleum Engineering Research Center enables the development of petroleum extraction technologies that is vital for the economic progression of the region.
In addition to research addressing local challenges, KAUST boasts an active life science research program that has a broader, global impact with researchers studying genomics, epigenetics, marine science, and structural biology.
The importance of collaboration in research is evidenced by remarks by Dr. Charles M. Vest, President Emeritus from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Emeritus Trustee of KAUST, in KAUST’s second commencement ceremony in 2011. Dr. Vest referenced the new phenomenon of “brain integration” as opposed to “brain drain” and “brain circulation”. Dr. Vest defined “brain integration” as “researchers, students, and entrepreneurs, all over the world linked together…to solve big problems.” Through KAUST’s partnership with Kerafast, a collection of novel peptides and peptide scaffolds will now easily be available to the global scientific community through the Kerafast catalog, connecting researchers around the world with the ultimate goal of advancing life science research.