The Infectious Diseases Institute(IDI), Makerere University’s College of Computing & Health Sciences in partnership with the US Government National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the Office of Cyber Infrastructure and Computational Biology(NIH/NIAID/OCICB) have established the African Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics & Data Sciences, one of the only 2 such centers on the African continent.
First of its kind on the Makerere campus, the ACE is a center for Computational Biology and Big Data analysis. It has a dedicated High-Performance Computing cluster, a Tele-learning center, a collaborative room with collaborative spaces, and a Virtual Reality room for the latest 3D & VR pedagogical and diagnostic approaches. Layered over those facilities is professionally curated long term (MSc & PhD) and short term (Certificates) academic programs, as well as research and development support units.
Education and Training
The ACE has been designed to support the Colleges of Health Sciences and Computing in the delivery of Masters, PhD and Post doctoral level training in Bioinformatics & Data science. The degree level training focuses on the following core competency levels:
- Molecular Biology
- Biological Data Generation Technologies (DNA sequencing, microarrays, PCR, ChIP-seq, and medical imaging)
- Machine learning & Artificial Intelligence
- Bioinformatics programming
- Sequence analysis
- Functional genomics and transcriptomics
- Population genomics
- Geoinformatics and Biostatistics
- Professional, ethical, legal, and social issues
- Communication and teamwork
The ACE is a specialized bioinformatics and genomics node that provides the following services;
- High-Performance Computing infrastructure (infrastructure as a service – IaaS)
- Degree level trainings (Masters and Ph.D. in Bioinformatics)
- Research and development for private researchers and research institutions
- Human and pathogen DNA sequencing for private individuals and researchers
- Trainings in Bioinformatics, Biostatistics, and image processing
- Virtual reality infrastructure and services
To optimize productivity and value creation, the ACE is leveraging all possible partners in the local and international bioinformatics research and development eco-system. It is actively partnering with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) – National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the Office of Cyberinfrastructure and Computational Biology (NIAID/OCICB), Makerere University’s Colleges of Health Science and Computing, the Infectious Diseases Institute (IDI), the CAfGEN research project, Makerere University Infectious and Immunity program (MUI) and the Research and Education Network for Uganda (RENU).