Module 1: Introduction, Databases and Resources



Pedro Fernandes

Guest trainer: ‘What is Bioinformatics and why is it important?’

Affiliation: Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência, Oeiras, Portugal (PT)

Pedro Fernandes graduated in Electronics and Telecommunications Engineering at IST (U.T. Lisboa). He worked in Biomedical Engineering, Biophysics and Physiology and changed to Bioinformatics in 1990. He established the first user community in Portugal around the national service provided by the Portuguese node of the EMBnet. In 1998 he created the Gulbenkian Training Programme in Bioinformatics. The GTPB has provided user skills to more than 4800 course attendees throughout its seventeen years of existence. The GTPB has also been used to systematically introduce and test improvements in training techniques. In 2002, in cooperation with Mario Silva from FCUL, he designed a pioneering graduate Programme in Bioinformatics, PGBIOINF. He currently teaches Bioinformatics both in graduate and undergraduate programmes. He is a founding member of the Global Organisation for Bioinformatics Education and Training – GOBLET. He is the Head of the Education and Training SIG in EMBnet and serves as Training Coordinator for Portugal in ELIXIR, the organisation that is developing a distributed infrastructure for life-science information in Europe. He is an invited researcher of the Medical School of the University of Porto, FMUP, where he supports distance learning in post-graduate courses for physicians and nurses. Researcher ID: A-9618-2010 | ORCID ID: 0000-0003-2124-0241



David P Judge

Guest trainer: ‘What is Bioinformatics and why is it important?’

Affiliation: Freelance independent Bioinformatics instructor. Formerly, Bioinformatics Training Programme coordinator, University of Cambridge, Department of Genetics, Cambridge, UK

David P Judge is a Computer Scientist that teaches Bioinformatics since 1985. He has run the Bioinformatics Training Facility housed at the Department of Genetics in the University of Cambridge until 2015, providing the necessary environment for graduate and undergraduate courses, on top of a comprehensive training programme in cooperation with the European Bioinformatics Institute, the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute. He teaches Bioinformatics in several international training programmes and is regularly invited to teach in many places in Europe, Asia, Africa and America. His course notes and exercises are well known in the international community of Bioinformatics professionals and users, many of which (difficult to count) have had their first contact with Bioinformatics through him. David pioneered Bioinformatics Training at the Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência, in Portugal, in 1986, in the scope of a MSc course. He collaborates in Gulbenkian Training Programme in Bioinformatics regularly since its inception in 1999, several times per year.



Nicola Mulder

Trainer: ‘DNA analysis – e.g. sequence features, start site, restriction sites’

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.



Shaun Aron

Trainer: ‘Databases and Resources’ and ‘Advanced literature searching’

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.