Course Overview: 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.

Keywords: Bioinformatics, training, curriculum development

Skill level of training: Advanced

Language: English

Credential awarded:  no credential awarded

Type of training: Face-to-face / in person 

Workshop trainers, organizers and sponsors:

Ben Moore European Bioinformatics Institute
Dr. Javier De Las Rivas Cancer Research Center (IBMCC, CSIC/USAL), Salamanca, Spain
Dr Sumir Panji University of Cape Town, South Africa
Dr. Oyekanmi Nashiru CGRI/NABDA, Abuja, Nigeria
Prof. Faisal Fadlelmola University of Khartoum, Sudan
Prof. Nicola Mulder University of Cape Town, South Africa
Dr. Benjamin Kumwenda Kamuzu University of Health Sciences, Malawi
Dr. Etienne de Villiers Bioinformatics consultant for DIPLOMICS, Cape Town, South Africa
Prof. Ozlem Tastan Bishop Rhodes University, Grahamstown, South Africa
Dr. Mamadou Wele University of Science, Technology and Technology of Bamako, Mali
Prof. Oswaldo Trelles University of Malaga, Spain
Prof. Patricia Palagi Swiss Institute for Bioinformatics (SIB), Geneva, Switzerland
Prof. Lonnie Welch Ohio State University, Ohio, USA
Dr. Gomotsegang Pule University of Botswana, Botswana
Prof Sununguko Wata Mpoloka University of Botswana, Botswana
H3ABioNet Education and Training Working Group’s(E&T WG) Curriculum Development task force  Organizer/ sponsor


Workshop Programme:

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



Workshop Participants Group Picture