BiXCoP members and management

Community of practice members

Hassan Zackaria Ali Ishag

University of Nyala, Sudan

Bwihangane Birindwa Ahadi

Université Evangélique en Afrique

Osaiyuwu Osamede Henry

University of Ibadan

Pius K.B. Mugagga

Artificial Intelligence Research Group – Makerere University

Bernice Ngina Waweru

KALRO Food Crops Research Institute, Njoro Kenya

Ermias Assefa

Ethiopian Biotechnology Institute (EBTi)

Isaac Njaci

Jomo Kenyatta University

Mary Maranga

Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology

Edwin Murungi

Egerton University

Muwonge Abubaker

NCRRI/NARO Uganda

Helen Nigussie Aychegrew

Addis Ababa University

Beatus Modest Lyimo

Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology

Mukani Moyo Okoba

Kenyatta University

Management board

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Prof Cristobal Uauy

Cristobal Uauy is a project leader at the John Innes Centre, UK. Regarded as a world leader in wheat genetics and genomics research, Prof Uauy’s has led effort in developing numerous community-focused genomic resources for scientific discovery and wheat breeding globally. He has worked with the BecA-ILRI Hub and researchers from the National Agricultural Research stations (NARs) for over seven years delivering training in functional genomics and Research Leadership in Africa. He is an Affiliated Scientist at the BecA-ILRI Hub and co-Director of ACACIA – Alliance for Accelerated Crop Improvement in Africa. Prof Uauy is the lead Principal Investigator (PI) on the BBSRC GCRF-STAR grant supporting the Bioinformatics Community of Practise programme.

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Dr Jean-Baka Domelevo Entfellner

Jean-Baka joined the BecA-ILRI Hub in 2017 as Head of Bioinformatics. Prior to that, he was a Senior Lecturer in Computer Science at the University of the Western Cape (Cape Town, SA) and worked for five years as a postdoctoral fellow on H3ABioNet. He is a member of the African Society for Bioinformatics and Computational Biology (ASBCB) and has accumulated a wealth of experience in dispensing bioinformatics trainings in Africa (e.g. data science on UNIX/Linux platforms, Python programming, Biostatistics). He is a Co-PI on the BBSRC GCRF-STAR grant supporting the Bioinformatics Community of Practise programme.

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Dr Rob Davey

Rob is a group leader at the Earlham Institute, UK, where his group builds computing infrastructure for research data management and visualisation. Dr Davey is an experienced trainer who has designed and delivered several soft and programming skills workshops in Africa. Dr Davey is a Co-PI on the BBSRC GCRF-STAR grant supporting the Bioinformatics Community of practise programme.

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Dr Jacob Mignouna

Jacob is the director of the BecA-ILRI Hub. As director of the BecA-ILRI Hub, Dr Mignouna is at the frontiers of efforts in mobilising and harnessing international partnership to provide bioscience solutions to address agricultural challenges in Africa. Prior to joining the Hub, Dr Mignouna previously served as the director for technical operations at the African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF), and most recently as a senior program officer and senior regional advisor for West Africa at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in Seattle, USA.

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Dr Wellington Ekaya

Wellington is the head of capacity development at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI). He is responsible for coordinating the Africa Biosciences Challenge Fund (ABCF) program – the flagship BecA-ILRI Hub capacity development programme supporting Africa scientist in using world-class facilities to advance their research. Dr Ekaya has 20 years’ experience in capacity building across African countries. Prior to his current role at ILRI, Dr Ekaya was Senior Scientist – Capacity Building at the BecA-ILRI Hub. Before this, he was Program Manager at the Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM) from 2008 to 2013.

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Dr Oluwaseyi Shorinola

Oluwaseyi is a post-doctoral scientist at the John Innes Centre, UK, where he works in wheat genetics research. Dr Shorinola is a proficient trainer and have been involved in the many soft skills, genotyping and genomics training workshop in Africa. Dr Shorinola is the programme manager for the Bioinformatics Community of Practice programme.

Advisory Group

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Prof Nicola Mulder

Nicola is Head of Division, Computational Biology, Department of Integrative Biomedical Sciences, & Member of the Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine (IDM), Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town. One of the key players in the field of bioinformatics since its early days on the African continent, Nicky heads the African Society for Bioinformatics and Computational Biology (ASBCB) and she’s also the lead of the H3ABioNet project (both in its first and second phases, the latter having been kick-started in 2017), an initiative aiming at the development and strengthening of a network of trained bioinformaticians with ties to human health: H3ABioNet belongs to the larger initiative called Human Heredity and Health in Africa (H3Africa).

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Prof Seydou Doumbia

Seydou is Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Odontostomatology & Director of University Clinical Research Center (UCRC), University of Sciences, Techniques and Technologies of Bamako, Mali (USTTB). He is also the PI of the Fogarty/NIH funded West African Center of Excellence for Global Health Bioinformatics Research Training project; co-PI of the other Fogarty/NIH funded West African Sustainable Leadership and Innovation Training in Bioinformatics Research (WASLITBRE) programme: with strong roots in the field of human health and particularly in the epidemiology of malaria, Dr Doumbia has been involved in bioinformatics training for more than a decade, making a clear impact on the development of this field in West Africa.

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Dr Dan Masiga

Dan is Principal Scientist and Head of Animal Health Theme at icipe (International Centre for Insect Pathology and Ecology, Nairobi, Kenya). After being the Principal Investigator of a Node in the H3ABioNet network, Dr Masiga is now running the EANBiT (Eastern Africa Network of Bioinformatics Training) project with funding from Fogarty/NIH. In the framework of this project, Dan is pushing forth the establishment of several curricula of MSc Bioinformatics in the Eastern Africa region, the first of which starts in October 2018 in Pwani University, Kenya. Dan is also co-applicant and member of the steering committee of the Thrive consortim, an international initiative promoting health research capacity in Africa.

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Prof Appolinaire Djikeng

Appolinaire is the Director of the Centre for Tropical Livestock Genetics and Health (Edinburgh, Scotland, UK). He also holds the Chair, Tropical Agriculture and Sustainable Development at The Roslin Institute & Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies (The University of Edinburgh, UK). Before taking up these prestigious positions in Scotland, Appolinaire had spent 7 years in the BecA-ILRI Hub, first as a Technology Manager and then as the Director. He therefore has a very good understanding of the importance of bioinformatics training to enable advances in agricultural biosciences (and notably livestock production) on the African continent.

Resource Persons

Alice MinottoAlice is a DevOps engineer at the Earlham Institute, UK, where she manages the CyverseUK infrastructure – a platform that gives bioscientists access to High Performance Computing capabilities.  

Amel Ghouila: Amel is a bioinformatician at the Institute Pasteur de Tunis, Tunisia, and also a Mozilla Science fellow. She is also a member of the Human Heredity and Health Bioinformatics Network (H3ABionet) that develop bioinformatics capacity for human health research in Africa.   

Anthony Etuk: Anthony is a Research Software Engineer at the Earlham Institute, UK, where he develops platform to describe, deposit, curate and retrieve genomics data.  

Cathrine Ziyomo: Cathrine is a Senior Scientist at the BecA-ILRI Hub, Kenya, where she manages the Integrated Genotyping Service and Support platform. Cathrine has experience developing and implementing advanced breeding programmes in the public and private sectors in Africa. 

Dedan Githae: Dedan is a resident bioinformatician at the BecA-ILRI Hub where he provides bioinformatics support to NARs researchers in Africa.  

Francesca Stomeo: Francesca is a Programme Manager at the European Molecular Biology Organisation and was before that a Scientist at the BecA-ILRI Hub. Francesca contributes a wealth of experiences in metagenomics analysis of important crop and livestock microbes in Africa. 

Jared Crain: Jared is a Post-doctoral Researcher at Kansas State University. Jared has depth of experience in statistical and genetic analysis for plant breeding including QTL mapping, association analysis, and genomic selection. 

Jean-Baka Domelevo Entfellner: Jean-baka is a Scientist–Bioinformatics at the BecA-ILRI Hub. Jean-baka contributes a wealth of expertise in scientific computing, biostatistics and phylogenetics analyses. 

Jemima Brinton: Jemima is a Post-doctoral Researcher at the John Innes Centre, UK, where she uses a range of molecular and bioinformatics approaches to study variation in grain size in wheat. 

John Juma: John is a member of the bioinformatics team at the BecA-ILRI Hub where he provides bioinformatics support to researchers from national agricultural research stations in Africa.    

Laura-Jayne Gardiner: Laura is a bioinformatician at the Earlham Institute, UK. Laura has varied expertise in the developing pipelines for detecting and identifying SNP and epigenetic variation in crops. 

Nicola Soranzo: Nicola is part of the Data Infrastructure and Algorithm group at the Earlham Institute, UK. Nicola has expertise in the development and integration of bioinformatics tools and workflows for Galaxy – an open-source web platform for bioscience research. 

Nasser Yao: Nasser is a molecular breeder at the BecA ILRI Hub where he contributes to research aimed at strengthening breeding programme in Africa. 

Oluwaseyi Shorinola: Oluwaseyi is a Post-doctoral Scientist at the John Innes Centre, UK, where he conducts genetics research in the dissecting the genetic control of economically important agronomic traits in wheat. 

Paul Bailey: Paul is a member of the Plant Genomics group at the Earlham Institute, UK. Paul has varied expertise in scientific programming and in providing functional genomics resource for applied and fundamental research. 

Peter van Heusden: Peter is a Systems Administrator at the University of the Western Cape, South Africa. Peter has extensive experience in managing high performance computing infrastructure for data management in Africa. 

Philippa Borrill: Philippa is a lecturer at the university of Birmingham and was before that a BBSRC Future Leader Fellows at the John Innes Centre, UK. Philippa has developed bioinformatics platforms for investigating gene expression profile and regulatory network for wheat improvement.   

Rachel Rusholme Pilcher: Rachel is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Earlham Institute UK. Rachel uses next-generation genomics to investigate drought tolerance. 

Ricardo Ramirez Gonzalez: Ricardo is a bioinformatician at the John Innes Centre, UK. Ricardo’s interest lies in designing and implementing web-based portal that makes markers and NGS data more accessible to breeders and scientists. 

Rob Davey: Rob is a group leader at the Earlham Institute, UK, and has varied expertise in research data management and in developing HPC infrastructure and novel visualisation strategies for sequencing and biological data. Rob is also a certified Software and Data Carpentry instructor.  

Ryan Joynson: Ryan is a bioinformatician at the Earlham institute, UK, where he develops bioinformatics tools and workflows for the analysis of large NGS datasets for wheat improvement.  

Trushar Shah: Trushar is the Integrated Breeding Platform (IBP) Hub Manager at the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA) where he provides bioinformatic solution to advance crop breeding in Africa.