Institut Pasteur de Tunis, Tunisia





Tell us something interesting about your institution IPT has a long history in several research fields that are balanced between Public Health commitment and Research activities. The international recognition of IPT ranges from Nobel Price attribution (Charles Nicolle, 1908) to publications in highly ranked scientific resources. IPT is also part of a Pasteur Institutes International Network in which IPT is actively participating in the form of collaborations, scientific exchanges and the leveraging of competencies between the different Pasteur Institutes.

What are the main research interests of your institution? Human diseases, Animal diseases, Bacterial infections, Human Gut, Parasitology, Vaccines, and Oncogenetics

Class of 2016


What are the academic backgrounds of the participants? The IPT classroom participants have different backgrounds in Molecular Biology, Computer Science, Bioinformatics, Biostatistics, Ecology, Microbiology, NGS, Immunology, Genetics

The IPT team



Fatma Guerfali

role for IBT_2016: trainer (Genomics module) and teaching assistant

Fatma Guerfali is member of the Laboratory of Transmission, Control and Immunobiology of Infections (LR11IPT02) at Institut Pasteur de Tunis (IPT). Fatma obtained her PhD in Molecular Biology jointly from University Montpellier 2, France and University Tunis El Manar, Tunisia. During her PhD she worked on high-throughput approaches applied to analyse both transcriptomes of infected human macrophages and their different infecting Leishmania strains of contrasted virulences or tropisms. She is currently involved in the generation, analysis, and data mining of high throughput DNAseq, RNAseq, SAGE or microarray data from Leishmania parasites. Her main research interests rely in the analysis of clinical isolates of Leishmania parasites showing differential disease manifestation in human patients and classified according to their associated virulence. The long-term goal is the identification of molecular determinants and genomic variations with a discriminating potential between these parasite isolates as potential drug targets. She has been an invited speaker in several local and international courses and workshops for post-graduates in the field of NGS. Fatma is a member of IPT H3ABioNet node.



Amel Ghouila

role for IBT_2016: trainer (Linux module) and teaching assistant

Amel Ghouila is a bioinformatician at the Laboratory of Transmission, Control and Immunobiology of Infections (LTCII), Institut Pasteur de Tunis, working mainly on the NIH-funded H3ABioNet project. She is co-chairing the research working group and also involved on education and training activities within this project. Amel has a background in Informatics and has been teaching in this field for several years at the Computer Sciences Department of the Faculty of Sciences of Bizerte, Tunisia. She then obtained a PhD in Bioinformatics from University Montpellier 2, France during which she has been working on the development of new methods for pathogens annotation. Her main research interests include pathogens functional annotation, NGS data analysis pipelines, data mining techniques and database conception and implementation.

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Trust Odia

role for IBT_2016: teaching assistant

I am a research assistant at Covenant University Bioinformatics Research Group (CUBRe), Nigeria. I have a bachelor’s and master’s degree in computer science. My research interest is in Computational Biology and Bioinformatics.



Houcemeddine Othman

role for IBT_2016: teaching assistant

I came to Pasteur Institute of Tunis in 2010 to integrate the research team of Najet Srairi-abid from the venoms and toxins Lab as a master student. I was working with Najet on a data mining project in which we manipulated a gigantic set of sequence and structure data to design highly specific peptides blocking the Kv1.3 potassium channel. This requires the application of structural bioinformatics methods such as homology modeling, molecular dynamics and molecular docking but high performance computing, programming (Python, R and Perl) and data analysis. To be able to apply all these methods efficiently I had the opportunity to join Michael Nilges’s Lab at Pasteur Institute of Paris. I have now the task to define and study the molecular interaction modes of many scorpion toxins with multiple cell targets involved in diseases such as cancer and multiple sclerosis.



Oussama Khamessi

role for IBT_2016: teaching assistant

I am a PhD Student in Bioinformatics supervised by Professor KHARRAT RIADH at Institute Pasteur of Tunis . I am doing research in structural Bioinformatics, interactions between proteins provides broad implications,including understanding the mechanism of interaction, protein design, assigning putative functions to uncharacterised proteins and understanding protein flexibility is a key challenge in the field of protein-protein docking. Primarily focusing on investigating peptides through the use of Bioinformatics approaches. During my course of study, several internships, courses and conferences were performed primarily in structural bioinformatics (molecular dynamics and molecular docking) , developming of computer algorithms (To predict protein structure from sequence), programming (Python , R ) and data analysis . My PhD aims to modelling of the activity and toxicity of small molecules as an aid to the design of novel drugs.



Ines Tiouiri

role for IBT_2016: system administrator

I’m Ines Tiouiri 24 years old, I was born on 17 of September 1992 in Tunis, and I graduated from the Higher Institute of Technological studies in 2015. Holder of an applied license with honors in networking and computer system. Working as a system and network administrator since November 2015 at the Laboratory of BioInformatics, bioMathematics and bioStatistics (BIMS) in Institute Pasteur of Tunis, member of the ISWG and SATF. After license I enrolled night classes in order to obtain a national engineering diploma in network and telecommunications.



Damilare Folola

role for IBT_2016: teaching assistant

Falola Damilare is an H3ABioNet funded student and research assistant at CUBRe. He obtained a BSc degree in Computer science at Covenant University, Ota, Nigeria in 2012 and MSc in Computer Science (Bioinformatics option) at the same university in 2016. His research interests includes epidemiological studies, human metabolic modelling. He is skilled in Java, Perl, PhP and R programming languages. He is currently working on an internship project at IPT which involves the prediction of metabolic biomarkers of Mycobacterium Tuberculosis infection for human alveolar macrophage.



Melek Chaouch

role for IBT_2016: teaching assistant

I entered the Pasteur institute in 2006 as a graduating engineer from The National Agronomic Institute of Tunisia to fulfil my graduate internship. Fascinated by the scientific research, advances in molecular biology, the available technologies and devices that I have seen in that honorable institution, I decided to pursue my graduate studies Masters (Graduation -2008) and PhD research (Graduation -2014) within the same department and institution. Throughout these years I have gained large experience in the fields of parasitology, molecular biology and bioinformatics, and I have developed heavy sense of analysis and significant research potential. Post-doc Researcher 2015/2016 Postdoctoral researcher at Institut Pasteur de Tunis, Medical Parasitology Biotechnology and Molecules Laboratory, as part of the project financed by the World Health Organization (EMRO TDR-), entitled “Development and evaluation of a Loop mediated Isothermal Amplification method for the diagnosis of Old world Leishmania in Tunisia “. Post-doc Researcher August 2016 Postdoctoral Fellow at Institut Pasteur de Tunis, Laboratory of BioInformatics, bioMathematics and bioStatistics (BIMS). H3ABioNet Postdoc in charge of participating to the User Support Working Group.



Alia Benkahla

role for IBT_2016: TA, classroom PI

Alia Benkahla is a bioinformaticist. She did her PhD studies at the IGS-CNRS in Marseille. Her initial training was in Mathematics. She started as Post-Doctoral fellow at the Max-Planck Institute in Berlin, and moved to the Institut Pasteur de Tunis in January 2005. She initiated and is currently head of the Laboratory BioInformatics, bioMathematics and biostatistics (BIMS). She invested her initial period at IPT in capacity building in Bioinformatics by: training students; co-organizing international events in Africa; and looking for funds in Bioinformatics for Tunisia’s and Africa’s health issues. She is the President of the African Society of Bioinformatics and Computational Biology since September 2015. She was the chair of the third ISCB Africa ASBCB Conference on Bioinformatics 2013. She was the PI of 5 research projects and is PI of the H3ABioNet Tunisian node. She is member of the Scientific and Training Advisory Board of the Wellcome Trust project: “Developing Excellence in Leadership and Genetic Training for Malaria Elimination in Sub-Saharan Africa”. She is co-coordinating the H3Africa Phenotype Harmonization WG. Her research is mainly in the area of systems biology aimed at understanding processes of regulation, interaction, signaling mechanisms activated in response to diseases (i.e., leishmaniasis and/or tuberculosis, cancer).



Read more about all the IBT_2016 classrooms here