The goal of the H3ABioNet and University of Botswana curriculum development workshop is to present success stories of Masters programmes that have been developed elsewhere and then discuss the challenges in starting such a programme at African universities who don’t yet offer them, and how to overcome these challenges. The workshop will also discuss what curriculum should be taught and how to train faculty to do this teaching. 

Many institutions in Africa have expressed the will to start degree programmes in bioinformatics, this workshop will enable them to discuss the issues around this and how they can share resources and experience to get it off the ground. Several PIs both within H3Africa and those closely linked to the consortium have expressed their frustrations at not having a degree programme in bioinformatics at their institutions. At the last H3Africa consortium meeting, the CafGEN project, led by Botswana, noted their interest in working with H3ABioNet to develop a bioinformatics degree in Gabarone. Further discussions with other groups have shown that there are many institutions in Africa who face a similar issue so it makes sense for all these groups to get together and discuss how to go about starting such degree programmes. If we want to train bioinformaticians in Africa, we need to train them at the postgraduate level, where they can have focussed courses and undertake high quality bioinformatics projects for their dissertations. Therefore it is important that H3ABioNet focusses some of its training efforts at this fundamental stage of career development. This workshop will bring together people who have developed such programmes and people who need them in order to formulate a plan for how to go forward with this.


11th March, 2014

8:30am - 9:00am

Registration and welcome

9:00am - 9:30am

Brief introduction and anticipated outcomes of the H3ABioNet curriculum development workshop by participants.
Dr Sumir Panji: Why do we need Bioinformatics degree programmes in Africa?

9:30am - 9:50am

Dr. Oyekanmi Nashiru: Perspective on the Priorities for Bioinformatics Education in the 21st Century

9:50am - 10:10am

Prof. Faisal Fadlelmola: Bioinformatics Degree Curriculum Development: The African Challenge and Lessons Learned

10:10am - 10:30am

Prof. Nicola Mulder: The South African Perspective

10:30am - 11:00am

Tea / Coffee Break

11:00am - 11:20am

Dr.Benjamin Kumwenda: A road map to development of Bioinformatics in Malawi

11:20am - 11:40am

Dr. Etienne de Villiers: KWTRP Masters level bioinformatics curriculum for East Africa

11:40 - 12:00pm

Prof. Ozlem Tastan Bishop: One-Year Coursework and Dissertation Bioinformatics MSc Programme at Rhodes University

12:00pm – 12:30pm

Open discussion: A Research vs Structured Bioinformatics programme

12:30pm – 1:30pm

Lunch Break

1:30pm - 2:00pm

Dr. Mamadou Wele (via Skype): Establishment of an MSc Bioinformatics programme in Mali

2:00pm – 2:30pm

Prof. Oswaldo Trelles (via Skype): MSc Bioinformatics program in Spain

2:00pm – 2:30pm

Prof. Patricia Palagi: MSc Bioinformatics program at the Swiss Institute for Bioinformatics (SIB)

3:00pm – 3:30pm

Open discussion: Amount of institutional support available e.g infrastructure, trained faculty, etc. How to train trainers

3:30pm – 4:00pm

Tea / Coffee Break

4:00pm – 4:30pm

Prof. Lonnie Welch (via Skype)Bioinformatics Curriculum Guidelines Towards a Definition of Core Competencies

4:30pm – 5:00pm

Break away session: Different models of bioinformatics training / education (single Institution vs cross-Institution) which one is applicable to your scenario?

5:00pm – 5:30pm

Report back from break away sessions


12th March, 2014

9:00am – 9:30am

Dr.Gomotsegang Pule: Requirements for the registration and accreditation of an MSc degree programme

9:30am – 10:30am

Open discussion: Accreditation, registration and Institutional requirements for establishing a MSc Bioinformatics programme

10:30am – 11:00am

Tea / Coffee break

11:00am – 11:20pm

Talk: Examples of different curriculums


Open discussion: Core vs elective topics for a MSc bioinformatics curricula and applicability to your scenario

12:00pm – 12:30pm

Open discussion: Build bioinformatics program according to expertise available at University e.g HIV or malaria research

12:30pm – 1:30pm

Lunch Break

1:30pm – 2:30pm

Wrap-up discussion of educational models, curricula and implementation

Working Documents 

Core and Elective Bioinformatics Proposed Curricula Topics

Institution, Degree, Joint Programme, Start date and Outcome Focus summary



Publications by ISCB on Bioinformatics Curriculum Development

ISCB Bioinformatics Degree Curriculum Publication 2014

ISCB Binoformatics Degree Curriculum Survey Publication 2012


Example Bioinformatics Curricula

University of Rhodes Bioinformatics Curriculum

Future University of Sudan Bioinformatics Curriculum

University of Edinburgh Bioinformatics Curriculum

University of Bern Bioinformatics Curriculum

Harvard School of Public Health Draft Quantitative Genetics Curriculum


Workshop Participants Group Picture


Download this file (A_road_map_to_development_of_Bioinformatics_in_Malawi_Benjamin.pdf)A_road_map_to_development_of_Bioinformatics_in_Malawi_Benjamin.pdf [ ] 407 Kb
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Download this file (Bioinformatics_Degree_Curriculum_Development_The_African_Challenge_and_Less~.pdf)Bioinformatics_Degree_Curriculum_Development_The_African_Challenge_and_Less~.pdf [ ] 863 Kb
Download this file (Core_elective_bioinfo_topics_curriculum.pdf)Core_elective_bioinfo_topics_curriculum.pdf [ ] 187 Kb
Download this file (Degrees required.xlsx)Degrees required.xlsx [ ] 17 Kb
Download this file (Establishment_of_an_MSc_Bioinformatics_programme_in_Mali_Wele.pdf)Establishment_of_an_MSc_Bioinformatics_programme_in_Mali_Wele.pdf [ ] 969 Kb
Download this file (H3ABioNet_Bioinformatics_Curriculum_Degree_Development_Workshop_Report.pdf)H3ABioNet_Bioinformatics_Curriculum_Degree_Development_Workshop_Report.pdf [ ] 617 Kb
Download this file (KWTRP_Masters_level_bioinformatics_curriculum_for_East_Africa_Etienne.pdf)KWTRP_Masters_level_bioinformatics_curriculum_for_East_Africa_Etienne.pdf [ ] 1369 Kb
Download this file (MSc_Bioinformatics_program_at_the_Swiss_Institute_for_Bioinformatics_Palagi.pdf)MSc_Bioinformatics_program_at_the_Swiss_Institute_for_Bioinformatics_Palagi.pdf [ ] 5198 Kb
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Download this file (MSc_in_Bioinformatics_December_2012_Sudan.pdf)MSc_in_Bioinformatics_December_2012_Sudan.pdf [ ] 1218 Kb
Download this file (MSc_in_Bioinformatics_University_of_Bern.pdf)MSc_in_Bioinformatics_University_of_Bern.pdf [ ] 177 Kb
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Download this file (One-Year_Coursework_and_Dissertation_Bioinformatics_MSc_Programme_at_Rhodes~.pdf)One-Year_Coursework_and_Dissertation_Bioinformatics_MSc_Programme_at_Rhodes~.pdf [ ] 1232 Kb
Download this file (Perspective_on_the_Priorities_for_Bioinformatics_Education_in_the_21st_Cent~.pdf)Perspective_on_the_Priorities_for_Bioinformatics_Education_in_the_21st_Cent~.pdf [ ] 1977 Kb
Download this file (Proposed_Masters_Program_in_Quantitative_Genetics_draft_021013_Harvard.pdf)Proposed_Masters_Program_in_Quantitative_Genetics_draft_021013_Harvard.pdf [ ] 179 Kb
Download this file (The_South_African_Perspective_Nicky_Mulder.pdf)The_South_African_Perspective_Nicky_Mulder.pdf [ ] 741 Kb
Download this file (University_of _Edinburgh_MSc_Bioinformatics_Curriculum.pdf)University_of _Edinburgh_MSc_Bioinformatics_Curriculum.pdf [ ] 313 Kb
Download this file (Why_do_we_need_Bioinformatics_Degree_programmes_in_Africa_Sumir.pdf)Why_do_we_need_Bioinformatics_Degree_programmes_in_Africa_Sumir.pdf [ ] 497 Kb