IBT core team

Introduction to Bioinformatics course (IBT)

The IBT core team is responsible for coordinating the: delivery of course materials; logistical support for classrooms; course websites; and live video conferencing sessions, during which the  20 classrooms, from across Africa, meet up virtually and discuss the course material with the trainer.



Kim Gurwitz

IBT project coordinator

Affiliation: University of Cape Town, H3ABioNet

Kim is a Training and Outreach Officer at the University of Cape Town (UCT) branch of H3ABioNet. She graduated from UCT with a Masters degree in Medical Biochemistry in 2016 under the supervision of Professor Jonathan Blackburn.  Her thesis was an in vitro analysis of ‘how HIV affects the brain’ using neuronal stem cell culture and mass spectrometry-based proteomics techniques. During her postgraduate study, Kim was selected to a 3-month programme for emerging leaders in science at Novartis Pharmaceuticals in Switzerland, where she worked on a Bioinformatics research project and obtained leadership and communications training. In addition, she interned at the Weizmann institute for Science in Israel on a 3-month scientific fellowship in Bioinformatics. Kim is passionate about science education. To this end, she has been involved in various education projects, in her work for H3ABioNet, and in communicating science to the public, such as through her active involvement in the organisation of the Pint of Science South Africa festival.



Shaun Aron

IBT core team

Affiliation: University of Witwatersrand, H3ABioNet

Shaun Aron has been a member of Wits Bioinformatics since 2007 when he joined as an MSc student in Human Genetics/Bioinformatics. After completing an Honours degree in Human Genetics, he was intrigued by the computational approaches being developed to address complex biological questions and decided to hang up the pipette and pick up a computer instead. His MSc aimed to apply relevant bioinformatic techniques to characterise and possible identify the molecular cause for a rare genetic skin disorder called Keratolytic Winter Erythema. While completing his MSc he joined Wits Bioinformatics as an Associate Lecturer/Consultant in 2009 and has been involved in various teaching, training and consulting activities within the university. In 2013 he took up the position of H3ABioNet Bioinformatics Consultant/Trainer at the Wits Node of H3ABioNet. Shaun has a keen interest in the genetic basis of rare genetic disorders, population genetics and the practical application of bioinformatics for biologists. He is also actively involved in the education and training endeavours of the H3ABioNet and H3Africa AWIGEN project.



Nicola Mulder

IBT core team

Affiliation: University of Cape Town, H3ABioNet

Professor Mulder heads the Computational Biology Division (CBIO) at the University of Cape Town (UCT). She graduated with a BSc degree (cum laude) in Chemistry and Microbiology, and a first class Honours degree in Microbiology, followed by a PhD in Medical Microbiology. She then spent over 8 years at the European Bioinformatics Institute (EBI) in Cambridge, moving into the area of bioinformatics. At the EBI she was a Team Leader, responsible for the development of InterPro and the Gene Ontology Annotation Project. InterPro was one of the most heavily used Bioinformatics resources at the Institute. At UCT, Prof Mulder works in the area of bioinformatics of infectious diseases, including pathogen and host genomics and biological networks, human variation and disease association studies. She heads the CBIO group, which consists of over 30 staff and students. The group provides bioinformatics support and education and training for postgraduate students and local researchers. Prof Mulder convenes an Honours programme in Bioinformatics, and organises a South African national bioinformatics training course for postgraduate students. Internationally, she is involved in capacity development in Africa, as leader of a large NIH-funded consortium, H3ABioNet, to build a Pan-African Bioinformatics network for H3Africa. Prof Mulder is also a member of several Scientific Advisory Boards, including ELIXIR, which forms part of a major EU funded European initiative involving all the bioinformatics stakeholders in Europe and many others world-wide. She is a founding member of the Global Organisation for Bioinformatics Learning, Education & Training (GOBLET), and is on the executive committee of the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences, as well as a number of review boards.



Sumir Panji

IBT core team

Affiliation: University of Cape Town, H3ABioNet

Sumir obtained his PhD in Bioinformatics from the University of the Western Cape as part of the Stanford South Africa Biomedical Informatics (SSABMI) programme where he developed computational and analyses pipelines to determine the intersection between bacterial virulence and positive selection in Professor Winston Hide’s laboratory. He completed his postdoctoral studies in Professor Alan Christoffels’ laboratory at the South African National Bioinformatics Institute (SANBI) where his focus was on genome assembly, annotation, data mining, large scale statistical analysis of genomics data and development of various computational pipelines and analyses workflows for a myriad of genomics’ data types. Dr Panji’s main interests are in creating and implementing computational and analyses workflows, statistical analysis of biomedical data, biological algorithms, high performance computing and the overall application of bioinformatics and genomics methods to better understand complex biological systems. Sumir is currently a bioinformatician within the H3ABioNet consortium who is interested in genome science, data analysis workflows, statistical analyses of large ‘omics datasets, implementation and interpretation of bioinformatics solutions to diverse biological problems and providing bioinformatics support to the H3Africa projects.



Suresh Maslamoney

IBT system admin coordinator

Affiliation: University of Cape Town, H3ABioNet

Suresh Maslamoney is a techie at heart and has experience in system and network administration as well as designing and developing ICT infrastructure. Suresh joined CBIO in February 2013 as a systems administrator and is tasked with developing and providing support on the core computational infrastructure for the CBIO and the H3ABioNet consortium. Prior to joining CBIO, Suresh spent 3 years in the UK working in various ICT posts before returning to RSA where he joined the South African Tuberculosis Vaccine Initiative (SATVI). At SATVI Suresh was responsible for managing the IT section and all ICT related technical matters.