Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST)

South Korea

KAIST has connotations of academic excellence, innovation and entrepreneurship, but also the launch of large-scale projects. The university often ranks highly among other universities of a similar age.

KAIST was established in February 1971 as Korea Advanced Institute of Science, with a loan given by United States Agency for International Development. The university aimed not only to educate young researchers in science and engineering, but also to provide a solid basis for the development of future higher education institutions in Korea.

Its structure was created by an international team, which included the American electrical engineer and vice-president of Stanford University Frederick Emmons Terman. Unlike other public institutions in South Korea, KAIST has freedom to decide upon its entry requirements and course structure, which gives the university a special status.

Today, KAIST has a rich academic portfolio in disciplines such as physics, mathematics, engineering, humanities and social sciences, business and management. The courses are delivered by 5 colleges and 6 schools, with over 33 divisions. KAIST's unique institutes include the National NanoFab Center, which conducts research into nano-devices and their potential applications.

KAIST consists of 2 major campuses situated in Daejeon and South Korea's capital Seoul. They offer over 25 dormitories, 4 libraries and a medical centre. To ensure students are actively engaged in the campus cultural events, the university organises traditional opera and jazz recitals.

KAIST retains sole responsibility for content © 2017 KAIST.

1 January 2017 - 31 December 2017

Region: Global
Subject/journal group: All

The table to the right includes counts of all research outputs for Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) published between 1 January 2017 - 31 December 2017 which are tracked by the Nature Index.

Hover over the donut graph to view the WFC output for each subject. Below, the same research outputs are grouped by subject. Click on the subject to drill-down into a list of articles organized by journal, and then by title.

Note: Articles may be assigned to more than one subject area.

288 122.29 116.17

Outputs by subject (WFC)

Subject AC FC WFC
Chemistry 122 61.78 61.78
Physical Sciences 177 66.35 60.22
Life Sciences 41 18.39 18.39

Highlight of the month

Gut bacteria helps plastics go green

© Yagi Studio/DigitalVision/Getty

© Yagi Studio/DigitalVision/Getty

A chemical used in plastics can be produced by engineered Escherichia coli — a microbe commonly found in the gut.

Terephtalic acid (TPA) is used to make plastics for products such as drink bottles and clothing fibres. However, its fabrication is energy intensive and potentially hazardous as it requires high temperatures and toxic chemicals. A team of researchers, from KAIST in South Korea, combined metabolic pathways from two different bacteria to make a synthetic strain of E.coli that can transform p-xylene (pX) — a raw material derived from petrol — into TPA via natural fermentation processes. The metabolically modified E. coli produced 13.3 grams of TPA from 8.8 grams of pX, matching the yield of commercial methods.

As pX can also be produced from dried plant matter, this technique could lead to the sustainable and green production of TPA.

Supported content

  1. Nature Communications 8, 15689 (2017). doi: 10.1038/ncomms15689

View the article on the Nature Index

See more research highlights from Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST)

More research highlights from Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST)

1 January 2017 - 31 December 2017

International vs. domestic collaboration by WFC

  • 48.25% Domestic
  • 51.75% International

Note: Hover over the graph to view the percentage of collaboration.

Note: Collaboration is determined by the weighted fractional count (WFC), which is listed in parentheses.

Affiliated joint institutions and consortia

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