Computational Biology Division at the University of Cape Town (UCT)
Prof Mulder heads the Computational Biology Division at the University of Cape Town (UCT), and leads H3ABioNet, a large Pan African Bioinformatics Network of 27 institutions in 17 countries. H3ABioNet aims to develop bioinformatics capacity to enable genomic data analysis on the continent by developing and providing access to skills and computing infrastructure for data analysis. Prior to her position at UCT, she worked for nearly 9 years at the European Bioinformatics Institute (EBI) in Cambridge, as Team Leader for InterPro and the Gene Ontology Annotation project. At UCT her research focuses on genetic determinants of susceptibility to disease, African genome variation, microbiomes, microbial genomics and infectious diseases from both the host and pathogen perspectives. Her group also provides bioinformatics services for the local researchers, through which they develop visualization and analysis tools for high-throughput biology. Her team has also been involved in the development of new and improved algorithms for the analysis of complex African genetic data as well as for downstream analysis and interpretation of GWAS data. Prof Mulder is actively involved in training and education as well as curriculum development in bioinformatics and genomic medicine.
Title of the talk:Building Bioinformatics Skills in Africa through H3ABioNet
African scientists are rapidly embracing the genomics revolution. Through initiatives such as the Human Heredity and Health in Africa (H3Africa), large-scale projects to study the genetic and environmental determinants of diseases are underway across the continent. Additionally, disease outbreaks have led to increasingly large pathogen genome sequencing projects. However, until recently, the ability to analyse and interpret genomic data has been limited to pockets of expertise in a handful of countries. H3ABioNet, the Pan African bioinformatics network for H3Africa, is mandated to build capacity in bioinformatics through the development of computing infrastructure and skills. Human capacity development is a major goal, and includes a broad list of stakeholders, from bioinformatics students and staff to systems administrators or software developers, and importantly, to life science researchers and healthcare professionals. H3ABioNet has developed a training program for multiple audiences that encompasses face to face, online and internship-based approaches to skills transfer. This talk will describe the training program and impact it has had to date.