Keynote & Invited Speakers



Keynotes

Nicola Mulder, PhD
University of Cape Town

South Africa
Ahmed Rebai, PhD
Centre of Biotechnology of Sfax
Tunisia


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Invited Speakers

Ozlem Tastan Bishop, PhD
Rhodes University
South Africa
Structuralbio COSI Speaker
Ananyo Choudhury, PhD
University of the Witwatersrand
South Africa
Populations Genomics COSI Speaker
 
  Olivier Hanotte, PhD
University of Nottingham
United Kingdom
Agricultural Bioinformatics  COSI Speaker
Placide Mbala, PhD
METABIOTA
Democratic Republic of the Congo
Pathogen COSI Speaker
 
Radoslaw Poplawski, PhD
University of Birmingham
United Kingdom
SysAdmin COSI Speaker

 

 


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Ozlem Tastan Bishop, PhD
Rhodes University
South Africa
Structuralbio COSI Speaker

Özlem is full professor in structural bioinformatics at Rhodes University.

She received her BSc degree in Physics from Boğaziçi University, Istanbul, Turkey. Then she moved to the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics at the same University for her MSc degree. She obtained her PhD from Max-Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics and Free University, Berlin, Germany in 2003. While doing her PhD, Özlem became interested in structural biology, and during her postdoctoral positions (Texas University, USA; University of Western Cape and University of Pretoria, South Africa) she gained experience in structural bioinformatics as well as structural biology. In 2009, Özlem took up an academic position at Rhodes University, South Africa. She established Research Unit in Bioinformatics (RUBi) in 2013. She has graduated 13 PhD and over 30 MSc students since she joined Rhodes University. Özlem’s broad research interest is structural bioinformatics and its applications to drug design and development. Her recent interest is in the allosteric mechanisms of proteins and understanding the effects of nonsynonymous single nucleotide variations on protein structure and function, in order: to decode the underlying causes of many inherited diseases; to uncover drug resistance mechanisms; and to investigate drug sensitivity issues in certain populations for precision medicine purposes. She has published over 70 research articles.

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Ananyo Choudhury, PhD
University of the Witwatersrand
South Africa
Populations Genomics COSI Speaker

Ananyo Choudhury obtained his Ph.D. in Bioinformatics from the University of Calcutta, India and Postdoctoral training at the Sydney Brenner Institute for Molecular Bioscience (SBIMB) at the University of Witwatersrand. He is currently employed at SBIMB as a Senior Scientist  and co-leading several components for the NIH-funded AWI-Gen Study. He is the also the co-chair of the H3Africa Genome Analysis Working Group. He has played a lead role in several major genomic studies conducted in Africa including the South African Human Genome Project. the H3Africa genotyping array design, the H3Africa WGS Study. His research interests are population genomics and genomics of complex traits.

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Olivier Hanotte, PhD
University of Nottingham
United Kingdom
Agricultural Bioinformatics  COSI Speaker

The central theme of Dr. Hanotte's research is understanding at the genome level the origin and the history of the diversity and the genetic adaptations of “tropical’’ livestock to their production environments (cattle, chicken, sheep). They aim to unravel the genetic control of functional diversity for their uses in breeding improvement programs. They studied both Mendelian and quantitative traits. They use multi-omic approaches with in depth genome sequences analysis of diversity a major component of our research activities. Over the years, they have published more than 200 peer reviewed publications in these areas with collaborators from across the world and, in particular, with the support and help of many African institutions, scientific collaborators and farmers.

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Placide Mbala, PhD
METABIOTA
Democratic Republic of the Congo
Pathogen COSI Speaker

MBALA-KINGEBENI Placide, is a Medical Doctor and Associate Professor at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Kinshasa, and in charge of the Department of Epidemiology and of the pathogen sequencing laboratory of the National Institute of Biomedical Research of Kinshasa, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Since 2014, he has been coordinating the diagnosis of viral haemorrhagic fevers and other viral diseases by actively participating in the response to Ebola virus disease epidemics and the COVID-19 pandemic, under the supervision of Professor Muyembe.

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Nicola Mulder, PhD
University of Cape Town

Professor Mulder heads the Computational Biology Division at the University of Cape Town (UCT), and is a full member of the Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine. She leads H3ABioNet, a large Pan African Bioinformatics Network of 28 institutions in 17 countries, which aims to develop bioinformatics capacity to enable genomic data analysis on the continent. H3ABioNet has developed an extensive training program for African researchers. She also co-leads a Sickle Cell Disease Data Coordinating Centre and a Wellcome Trust Centre Data Integration Platform at UCT. She received her PhD in Medical Microbiology from the University of Cape Town and then worked for 8.5 years at the European Bioinformatics Institute in Cambridge, as a Team Leader. At UCT her research focuses on genetic determinants of susceptibility to disease, African genome variation, and microbial genomics and infectious diseases from both the host and pathogen perspectives. Her group provides bioinformatics services and training and develops new algorithms and resources for the analysis of complex African genetic data. Prof Mulder is actively involved in capacity development, including training, education and curriculum development in Bioinformatics. She also sits on a number of international scientific advisory boards.

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Radoslaw Poplawski, PhD
University of Birmingham
United Kingdom
SysAdmin COSI Speaker

Radoslaw works as a sysadmin in Advanced Research Computing (ARC) at the University of Birmingham. He has interests in High Performance Computing and Big Data. As part of ARC he’s managing Openstack clusters, CEPH and Spectrum Scale storage systems and a dedicated high speed research network spanning across the whole campus.

Radoslaw is involved in multiple UK wide projects including Cloud Infrastructure for Microbial Bioinformatics (www.climb.ac.uk) where he’s looking after Birimingham’s CLIMB cluster, and COVID-19 Genomics UK Consortium (cogconsortium.uk) where he built the central infrastructure to support the UK’s national SARS CoV2 sequencing and analysis effort. Further to this Radoslaw developed “Lab-on-an-ssd” for the ARTIC Network project (https://artic.network/lab-on-an-SSD).

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Ahmed Rebai, PhD
Centre of Biotechnology of Sfax
Tunisia

Dr. Ahmed Rebai received his engineer degree in Statistical Genetics in 1991 from the Institut National Agronomique de Paris-Grignon, France and his PhD from the same university in 1995 on developing methods and computational tools for genetic mapping. He then worked at the Institute National Agronomique de Toulouse (France) as a post-doc researcher in Bioinformatics. He subsequently served as assistant professor of Biostatistics at Institut National Agronomique de Tunisie (Tunisia) in 1998 and then as a researcher in the Centre of Biotechnology of Sfax since 1999. In 2002 he obtained the degree of ‘Habilitation à Diriger des Recherches’ in Life Sciences from the University of Paris 11, France.

Dr. Rebai has contributed greatly to the development of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics teaching and research in Tunisia and Africa where he leaded and contributed to several national and international initiatives in these fields. He was invited professor in Biostatistics at LeMans University (France) in 2008/2010 and 2019 and invited lecturer at several international workshops in Bioinformatics/Biostatistics and served as an expert evaluator for several universities around the world. He is an expert member in different national and international bodies (Data and Biospecimen Access Committee of the H3Africa since 2015; the independent expert committee for the National agency of sanitary and environmental control of products since 2018; College of experts of AREF/UK, 2020; TSC of the Good Research Management Practice of the African Academy of Science since 2020).

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