Karim Fhayli

PhD Students

Ph.D. (2016)



  • Skilled Chemist with over Five (5) years of multinational experience in nanomaterials, hybrid materials and organic chemistry in reputable research centers in Saudi Arabia, France, and Germany.
  • Strong Educational background in nanoparticles design for catalysis and medicinal applications and proven expertise in organic synthesis.
  • Possess high experience in leadership skills and holding 6 certificates covering soft skills in project management and industrial skills.
  • Highly technical in the following skills and technology HPLC, GC, XRD, NMR, TEM, SEM, ICP.
  • Author of 6 peer-reviewed publications and 3 poster presentations in international conferences mainly on the topic of nanomaterials and applications.

Research Interest

Smart nanomaterials; Hybrid materials; Catalysis; Organic synthesis

Selected Publications

  • Probing structural changes of self Assembled i-motif DNA
    I.J. Lee, S. Patil, K. Fhayli, S. Alsaiari, N.M. KhashabChem.
    Commun. (Cambridge, U. K.), 51, 3747-3749, (2015)
  • pH Responsive Self-Assembly of Cucurbit[7]urils and Polystyrene-block-polyvinylpyridine micelles for hydrophobic drug delivery
    B.A. Moosa, A. Mashat, W. Li, K. Fhayli, N.M. Khashab
    J. Nanomater., 719168-719177, (2013)
  • Electroless reductions on carbon nanotubes: how critical is the diameter of a nanotube
    Y. Guo, K. Fhayli, S. Li, Y. Yang, A. Mashat, N.M. Khashab
    RSC Adv., 3, 17693-17695, (2013)
  • Amphiphilic self-assembly of chitosan/ATP coordinated iron(III) system for drug delivery
    F. Karim, O. Haneen, M. Basem, K. M. Niveen
    250th American Chemical Society (ACS) National Meeting & Exposition, Boston, MA,..., (2015)
  • Applications of nanodiamonds in drug delivery and catalysis (Review)
    M. Basem, F. Karim, L. Song, J. Khatchatur, E. Alaa, K. M. Niveen
    Journal of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology 14, (2014) 1-12, (2014)
  • Poly(propylene imine) (PPIs) dendrimers modified with glyceryl moieties: Powerful catalysts for catecholase
    F. Karim, G. Sylvain, M. Aminou. D. Laurent, B. Sandrine
    Inorganic Chemistry Communications 27 (2013) 101104, (2013)


  • King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), K.S.A
               PhD in Chemical Sciences, April. 2016.
               Thesis topic: Introduction of transition metals into nanomaterials: strategies and   applications.
               Advisor: Prof. Niveen Khashab
  • Université de Reims Champagne Ardenne, France
               Master’s in Molecular Chemistry, July 2011.
               Thesis topic: Nanodendrimers for catalysis applications.
               Advisor: Prof. Sandrine Bouquillon
  • Lebanese University, Lebanon
               Bachelor’s Degree in Biochemistry, July 2009.

Professional Profile

​Research in Smart Hybrid Materials Lab.- KAUST, K.S.A
KAUST - Thuwai
September 2012 to Present

  • Designed an i-motif structural probing system based on Thioflavin T as a fluorescent sensor. This probe can discriminate the structural changes of RET and Rb i-motif sequences according to pH change. (Published results).
  • Designed anti-cancer drug (Doxorubicin) nanocarriers for controlled release under cancer-like environment in human body. The release of Doxorubicin can be initiated by three triggers namely human transferrin, alk.-phosphatase enzyme (ALP), and acidic pH. (Published results).
  • Inventing hybrid nanotoroids with crystal features for the first time. The toroids revealed an enhanced plasmonic effect. (Published results).
  • Developed a pH responsive micelle for controlled drug delivery. Release study of UV active pyrene from the micelle at different pH values revealed that the system is only operational under basic conditions. (Published results).
    Research at Wolfgang Parak Reaserch Group- Philipps Universität, Germany
    Philipps Universität -Marburg, PA
    April 2014 to June 2014
  • Performed analysis on physico-chemical properties of colloidal nanoparticles and the influence of the local environment on their stability.
    “Research consulting” at KAUST, K.S.A- Full time job.
    KAUST -Thuwal
    March 2012 to August 2012
  • Performed exptl. and theor. studies to investigate the influence of the diameter of carbon nanotubes on their ability to reduce palladium for catalytic applications. We suggest to use carbon nanotubes with small diameters for enhanced catalytical activities. (Published results).
  • Prepared palladium loaded nanodiamonds for the first time by electroless deposition. The system shows improved catalytic activity in ethanol oxidation & coupling reactions. (Published results).
    Research at Bouquillon Research Group- Reims University, France
    Reims University -Reims (51)
    March 2011 to July 2011
  • Prepared nanodendrimers modified with glyceryl moieties. The dendrimers have shown a dramatic positive effect in the oxidation of catechol and have great interest for degradation reactions of phenolic micropollutants for environmental purposes. (Published results).
    Research at Bouquillon Research Group- Reims University, France
    Reims University -Reims (51)
    May 2010 to July 2010
  • Prepared nanodendrimers modified with glycol moieties. The dendrimers are able to load an anticancer drug “cis-platin” for medicinal applications and also shows improved catalytical applications. (Published results)

Scientific and Professional Membership

  • American Chemical Society (ACS)- Student chapter; Material Research Society (MRS) - Student chapter; International Desalination Association (IDA) - Student chapter.​


  • 2012/2015 KAUST Ph.D.scholarship
  • 2010/2011 Municipalityencouragement scholarship​

KAUST Affiliations

  • Advanced Membranes & Porous Materials Center (AMPM)
  • Division of Physical Science and Engineering (PSE)