By Gerald Mboowa, Makerere University, Uganda
B3Africa has facilitated training in use of an internet-based bioinformatics platform (Galaxy – an open, web-based computational biomedical research server) as well as the implementation of Baobab Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) for on-going projects at the Molecular Diagnostics laboratory at Makerere University. The eB3Kit, with its open source Baobab LIMS, has improved sample annotation at the same laboratory. This laboratory handles student samples and projects that have limited budgets to access commercial LIMS.
Two workshops have been successfully held to aimed at capacity building of the B3Africa team at Makerere University.
Makerere University is making major strides towards a bioinformatics and genomics revolution. The eBioKit, one of the platforms that inspired the eB3Kit, has also enabled performing of non-internet based bioinformatics analyses by students at Makerere University. This is essential in an environment where internet connectivity is still a major challenge. It has spurred genomics and bioinformatics at Makerere University, Uganda and the region at large. We have managed to conduct very popular and oversubscribed bioinformatics and Next Generation Sequencing techniques short-courses for Uganda and region.
- Introduction to Bioinformatics and Next Generation Sequencing techniques workshop at Makerere University College of Health Sciences which attracted 56 researchers;
- The kit provided a platform that supported 56 students from Uganda, Malawi, Zambia, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, and Ethiopia as a Mini-Bioinformatics server during the practical sessions of the workshop;
- We continue to use it as a Bioinformatics training platform for a group of 9 pre-doctoral trainees who are taking a one-year Bioinformatics mentorship program, “Computational and Molecular Epidemiology Training in TB and HIV in Uganda” whose principal investigator is Whalen C. Christopher, University of Georgia, Athens, GA, United States”.
Leaping into the Genomics era, the University is hosting a number of bioinformatics trainings and workshops that are organised by the department of Immunology and Molecular Biology including:
- The 3-months’ online H3ABioNet – Introduction to Bioinformatics course (IBT_2017) organised by University of Cape Town’s H3ABioNet group every year. In 2017, we had 46 students take this course from June to August, 2017 . Furthermore, from September 06th, 2018 to December 20th, 2018, a total of 55 students have enrolled for the same iteration of the course (IBT_2018) and are using the eBioKit platform for their Linux classes.