Boosting Expertise of Bioinformatics in South Africa


Swiss TPH together with the SIB Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics and the University of Basel’s Centre for Scientific Computing (sciCORE) joined forces to create a flexible virtual education environment to support a bioinformatics course in South Africa. This is the first ever workshop of this kind collaboratively organised by three Swiss institutions.

Bioinformatics course for future African scientists to tackle global health problems

Bioinformatics as key to solving local health issues
The development of expertise in bioinformatics and genomics among future African scientists is necessary for finding solutions to local health problems. However, such training and courses often rely on powerful and complex infrastructure. A common impediment to advanced genomics education is access to powerful computing systems and complex software workflows.

Course empowers next generation of African scientists
Eighteen postgraduate students from several African countries participated in a joint bioinformatics course from 14 to 18 May 2018 conducted by members from the Tuberculosis Research Unit at Swiss TPH, directed by Sébastien Gagneux, together with the University of Cape Town South Africa and SIB to develop a SWITCH-hosted virtual education environment. Based on cutting-edge container and cloud technologies, the solution provided a highly efficient and reusable environment to transfer scientific expertise and actionable know-how, thereby empowering the next generation of African scientists.

Bioinformatics at Swiss TPH

Bioinformatics, a computational analysis of large sets of biological data, plays an increasing role in advancing biomedical research. At Swiss TPH, researchers are using bioinformatics to study human populations and their pathogens in different parts of the world.