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Bioinformatics Education-Perspectives and Challenges out of Africa

Bishop, OzlemTastan and Adebiyi, E. F. and Alzohairy, Ahmed M. and Everett, Dean and Ghedira, Kais and Ghouila, Amel and Kumuthini, Judit and Mulder, Nicola J. and Panji, Sumir and Patterton, Hugh-G. (2014) Bioinformatics Education-Perspectives and Challenges out of Africa. BRIEFINGS IN BIOINFORMATICS, 16 (2). pp. 355-364.

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Abstract

The discipline of bioinformatics has developed rapidly since the complete sequencing of the first genomes in the 1990s.The development of many high-throughput techniques during the last decades has ensured that bioinformatics has grown into a discipline that overlaps with, and is required for, the modern practice of virtually every field in the life sciences. This has placed a scientific premium on the availability of skilled bioinformaticians, a qualification that is extremely scarce on the African continent. The reasons for this are numerous, although the absence of a skilled bioinformatician at academic institutions to initiate a training process and build sustained capacity seems to be a common African shortcoming.This dearth of bioinformatics expertise has had a knock-on effect on the establishment of many modern high-throughput projects at African institutes, including the comprehensive and systematic analysis of genomes from African populations, which are among the most genetically diverse anywhere on the planet. Recent funding initiatives from the National Institutes of Health and theWellcomeTrust are aimed at ameliorating this shortcoming. In this paper, we discuss the problems that have limited the establishment of the bioinformatics field in Africa, as well as propose specific actions that will help with the education and training of bioinformaticians on the continent. This is an absolute requirement in anticipation of a boom in high-throughput approaches to human health issues unique to data from African populations.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: bioinformatics education; bioinformatics in Africa; postgraduate program
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
Divisions: Faculty of Engineering, Science and Mathematics > School of Electronics and Computer Science
Depositing User: Mrs Patricia Nwokealisi
Date Deposited: 02 May 2017 12:17
Last Modified: 02 May 2017 12:17
URI: http://eprints.covenantuniversity.edu.ng/id/eprint/8087

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