Pan African Bioinformatics Network for H3Africa

H3ABioNet is comprised of five working groups that concentrate on different facets of planning and ensuring that H3ABioNet fulfils its goals.

Education and Training Working Group

The H3ABioNet Education and Training Working Group’s (E&T WG) purpose is to investigate, develop and provide recommendations towards the development of bioinformatics capacity and education within Africa. The E&T WG will engage in capacity development by rapidly developing the sustainable bioinformatics knowledge and expertise of African scientists to ensure interdisciplinary genetic, environmental and socioeconomic research into significant health issues in Africa and ensure the retention of bioinformatics skills on the continent through a variety of mechanisms.

For more information, please consult the H3ABioNet Training and Education page.

Research Working Group

The H3ABioNet Research Working Group (RSWG) main purpose is to initiate, facilitate, review and monitor collaborative research projects within H3ABioNet and with external partners. The RSWG will conduct research and testing into the use and development of bioinformatics applications and workflows to be used for H3ABioNet and H3Africa affiliated projects. The RSWG will examine the unique challenges that face the H3Africa projects and look at previous successful international projects for guidance in tackling these challenges.

For a listing of currnet projects, plese consult the H3ABioNet Research page.

Infrastructure Working Group

The H3ABioNet Infrastructure Working Group’s (ISWG) aims are to determine what current software and hardware resources are available at all H3ABioNet affiliated sites and develop a strategy to improve these resources to ensure the sufficient provision of processing, storage and analysis resources for the H3Africa projects.

User Support Working Group

The H3ABioNet User Support Working Group’s (USWG) is responsible for overseeing the establishment of the H3ABioNet Bioinformatics User Support help desk which brings together existing expertise within H3ABioNet to provide Bioinformatics support to H3Africa and non H3Africa research projects.

For more information on the H3ABioNet Helpdesk, plese consult the Instructions page. To access the H3ABioNet Helpdesk please consult the Submit a Query page.

Node Accreditation Task Force

The H3ABioNet Node Accreditation Task Force’s (NATF) mission is to design and implement a set of bioinformatics standard operating procedures (SOPs) and protocols, with the goal to assess participating H3ABioNet Nodes on their ability to analyze according to accepted best practices datasets likely to be produced by H3Africa research projects or by other data-intensive research on the Continent.

Accreditation is provided by the NATF to H3ABioNet Nodes that successfully complete an assessment exercise, showing their ability to undertake analyses within the scope of the corresponding SOP. Participation in the accreditation process is purely voluntary, but is a necessary step if the Node chooses to become involved in assisting research projects with the analysis of their data. Successful accreditation will also be used as a criterion for the development of a Node’s technical expertise and its progression from development to associate or full Node.

To see what SOPs hav been developed, please consult our Node Assessment page.

Data Archive Task Force

The objective of the H3ABioNet Data Management Task Force (DMTF) is to investigate and resolve data management related queries raised by the Infrastructure working group with regards to the H3Africa data being generated.
The current task is to develop a secure data archive solution to securely house data received from H3Africa Consortium projects.  This data archive solution should include a data staging area component where data will be prepared for European Genotype-phenotype Archive (EGA) submission and will include development of data submission tools and protocols.

Systems Administration Task Force

The H3ABioNet Systems Administrator Task Force (SATF) purpose is to provide assistance in the setting up, maintaining, monitoring and troubleshooting of newly purchased hardware by H3ABioNet Nodes to ensure that all the required programs / software and dependencies are fully functioning in anticipation for H3Africa data storage and analysis. The SATF will investigate different operating systems, document the processes of installation and make recommendations as to which operating systems they will provide support for. A list of recommended software for which support will be provided for will be compiled by the SATF. The SATF will assess various methods to provide support to the Nodes which
can include the generation of virtual machine builds with required bioinformatics software provided, puppet recipes for updating software, remote access to machines for installation of programs to providing one on one support for various Nodes.

The long term aim of the SATF would be to organize itself into a cadre of regional members that are well placed to provide technical systems administration support to Nodes within their region and act as a forum for any difficulties pertaining to hardware / software to be discussed and resolved.

African Bioinformatics Curriculum Development Task Force

The African Bioinformatics Curriculum Development Task Force comprises of bioinformatics experts from the world and is working to develop specific modules and topics for a taught Masters in Bioinformatics for African higher education institutes. The African Bioinformatics Curriculum Development Task Force comprises of an overview committee and a bioinformatics module development curriculum taks force that is developing the content for review by the overview committee. Although this is not a strictly an H3ABioNet project as it encompasses many academic professionals, H3ABioNet members are contributing significantly to this endeavour. More information can be found here.

Ontology and Standardized Vocabulary Task Force

The H3ABioNet Ontology and Standardized Vocabulary Task Force (OTF) is responsible for promoting and overseeing the use of ontologies and standardized vocabularies for  H3Africa projects.

The OTF will work within the following framework:
1) Liase with relevant H3Africa working groups to identify areas which require ontologies and standardized vocabularies.
2) Use existing ontologies as much as possible and create new ontologies only when necessary