Xiaopeng Xu is a computer science graduate who will join KAUST in the fall of 2020. Xu obtained a master’s degree in computer science from KAUST, and a bachelor’s degree in bioinformatics from Huazhong University of Science and Technology, respectively. He will join KAUST in the fall of 2020 as a Ph.D. candidate and a member of the KAUST Structural and Functional Bioinformatics group under the supervision of Professor Xin Gao.
Following a call by President Tony Chan for KAUST PIs to contribute through their research capabilities to alleviate the COVID-19 pandemic, efforts coordinated by Donal Bradley, KAUST vice president for research, and Pierre Magistretti, KAUST dean of the Biological and Environmental Science and Engineering division, mobilized a group of faculty to form the Rapid Research Response Team (R3T).
Siyuan Chen is a 22-year-old graduate who comes to KAUST from the School of Communication and Information Engineering, UESTC, China. Chen will join the University in the fall of 2020 as an M.S./Ph.D. candidate in the KAUST Structural and Functional Bioinformatics research group under the supervision of Professor Xin Gao.
Associate Professor Xin Gao and his group have developed an artificial-intelligence (AI) based solution to help increase COVID-19 testing accuracy. Identifying cases of early stage infection has been particularly challenging for frontline clinicians. Gao's AI-based model, which aims to increase accuracy, has been put to immediate use at King Faisal Specialist Hospital (KFSH) in Riyadh.

Dr. Paula Moraga is part of a multidisciplinary KAUST research team that applies models to COVID-19. She has worked on projects examining malaria in Africa and leptospirosis in Brazil, and the models she develops rely on in-depth knowledge about each disease.