Introduction to Bioinformatics Training 2019

    Course Overview: The course aims to provide an introduction to the field of bioinformatics, with a focus on important bioinformatics tools, and resources. The course aims to use a combination of theoretical and practical sessions in order for participants to gain practical experience in using various tools and resources.

    Intended Audience: The course is aimed at individuals from a molecular biology background who have a basic understanding of biochemistry and/or genetics and would like to become bioinformatics users. For an explanation on who 'bioinformatics users' might be, see Figure 2 in A baseline level of the understanding of the central dogma of biology (DNA -> RNA -> Protein) is a requirement.


    Venue of workshop: Local classrooms ( usually 30 physical sites across Africa) and online

    Dates for the workshop: 13 August – 30 November 2019; Every Tuesday and Thursday from 10:30 CAT to 14:30 CAT.

    Workshop organisers: Paballo Chauke, Verena Ras, Shaun Aron, Sumir Panji and Nicola Mulder

    Participation: The course is available to any classroom who meets the requirements and to any participant who is able to attend a physical classroom, if one has been set up at a local institution, provided they have been selected via the selection process.

    Workshop Sponsors: H3ABioNet

    Classroom applications:

    Registration for classrooms opens:  07 June 2019

    Registration for classrooms closes: 30 June 2019

    Link to classroom application form: applications are now closed

    Notification date for successful classrooms: 03 July 2019

    Participant applications:

    Registration for participants opens:  04 July 2019

    Registration for participants closes: 23 July 2019

    Link to participant application form:

    Notification date for successful participants: 09 August 2019

    Course Curriculum:

    Syllabus and Tools:

    The course curriculum will cover the following main themes (subject to slight changes):

    • Bioinformatics resources and databases
      • Introduction to bioinformatics, biological databases and resources (NCBI and EBI), data formats, ontologies
    • Linux
      • Introduction to Linux, general overview of Linux environment, overview of command line interface, navigating Linux directory structure, manipulating files and directories, basic Linux commands
    • Sequence alignment theory and applications
      • Introduction to searching and sequence alignment, BLAST, pairwise sequence alignment
    • Multiple sequence alignment (MSA)
      • MSA theory, generating and interpreting MSAs using various tools, visualising and assessing MSA quality
    • Genomics
      • Overview of sequencing and annotation, Ensembl genome browser, Genetic variation, HapMap, 1000 genomes
    • Molecular evolution and phylogenetics
      • Molecular evolution, phylogenetic approaches and methods (Introduction and overview of methods)

     **All modules make use of ONLY web-based tools such as NCBI, Ensembl, etc.

    Prerequisites: A basic background/understanding of of biochemistry and/or genetics.

    Objectives: After this workshop participants should be able to:

    • Explain the use of bioinformatics
    • Name the key bioinformatics techniques and tools
    • Locate important biological databases and retrieve data
    • Use selected tools effectively to run specific bioinformatics analyses
    • Understand the strengths and limitations of the various techniques

    Workshop limitations: This workshop will only provide a foundation for continued learning in bioinformatics and will not teach any advanced coding.


    For more information on IBT, please visit:

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