Prof Alan Christoffels
The Bioinformatics Capacity
Development Research Unit was established and is located at the South
African National Bioinformatics Institute (SANBI) at the University of the
Western Cape. It aims to develop and support bioinformatics and genomics in
Bioinformatics has recently
emerged as a discipline straddling the established fields of biology and computer
science. It is integral to modern biological research, and as a specialist
pursuit, offers substantial competitive opportunities to smaller and developing
countries, without the requirement of prohibitive infrastructural investment.
focuses on a number of sites that provide high quality access to data and
information. Such sites exist on all continents, with the exception of Africa
The African continent has suffered considerably from the digital divide, and
also runs the risk of being left out of the newly coined "bio-divide".
SANBI therefore provides a focus for biological research located in Africa
and is interested in making contact with other African partners dedicated
to the provision of an excellent bioinformatic resource and focused on Africa
and African concerns.
The MRC Unit at SANBI
is dedicated to:
- the development of
an online specialised resource for genomics and genome informatics;
- capacity development
in genomics and bioinformatics in South Africa; and
- the development and
implementation of genome annotation methods.
The Unit aims to heighten
awareness of bioinformatics in South Africa and to assist the country in making
optimal use of this technology.
- Databases - nucleotide,
protein, structure (including the human genome sequence and derived data);
- Software tools for
- Countrywide training
in bioinformatics and genomics;
- Bioinformatics support
to South African scientists through telephone and e-mail contact.
View the South
African National Bioinformatics Institute's Website