After studying computer science, mathematics and signal processing at the École Normale Supérieure de Cachan (Rennes, France), Jean-Baka graduated with an MSc in computer science in 2006. I then traveled on a one-year sabbatical in 2006-2007 to lecture in Niamey, Niger and Yaouné, Cameroon, in a project aimed at developing capacity in mathematics and CS higher education and research in Africa. Back in France, I started my PhD in Montpellier (at LIRMM, a CNRS lab) under the supervision of Prof. Olivier Gascuel, in the field of phylogenetics and statistical modeling. I defended my PhD thesis in December 2011, which is titled “Combination of phylogenetic and sequential models to analyze biological sequences: reconstructing ancestral profile HMMs.” I am now a postdoctoral fellow at SANBI, in the research group led by Dr. Nicki Tiffin. I am working for the H3Africa consortium, more specifically in the NIH-funded H3ABioNet project. Within this project, my first objective is to develop and make use of a new tool to assess capacity in bioinformatics in Africa and to report about the effectiveness of the H3ABioNet project, in terms of capacity building.
Ahmed Reabi is a Full professor at the Centre of Biotechnology of Sfax, Tunisia (since 2008) and Director of the Laboratory molecular and cellular screening processes (Bioinformatics and biostatistics group). Prof. Reabi obtained a Phd in statistical genetics in France (1995). Prof. Rebai’s current research interest is in genetics, genomics and bioinformatics for identification of molecular targets in complex diseases (cancer, cardiovascular). Major research projects include: association analyses, mutation and polymorphism screening, study of sequence and structural features of signalling proteins and genes in the human genome, modelling of signal transduction pathways and protein interaction networks. Another research topics is computational modeling of gene and protein networks using graphical models (Bayesian networks) from genome and proteome data. Prof. Rebai has published over 160 papers in peer-reviewed international journals since 1993 (h-index=28) and has presented contributed and invited oral presentations in twenty international conferences and workshops. Prof. Rebai is on the editorial board of several journals and reviewed over 100 papers for international journals such as Bioinformatics, BMC Bioinformatics, Biometrics, Proteins, Genetics, Heredity, Genetical Research and has also edited a book on Bayesian Networks, published in 2010.
Prof. Rebai has organized and contributed several national and International courses in Bioinformatics and Biostatics such as:
- IP/ICGEB course on “Bioinformatics and Genome Data Analysis” (Sfax, Tunisia, 24 March-02 April 2005)
- IPT/EMBO course on “Bioinformatics and Comparative Genome Analysis”. (March-April 2007, Tunis, Tunisia (http://www.pasteur.fr/~tekaia/BCGA.html) .
- First international workshop on Bioinformatics, (Alexandria, Egypt, March 2008)
- IAEA course on Bioinformatics (Rabat, Morocco, February 2009)
- EMBO course on “Bioinformatics and Comparative Genome Analysis” (Tunis, Tunisia, 14-18 December 2010) (http://www.pasteur.fr/~tekaia/EMBOGLC1014.html)
Dr. Najla Kharrat is from Tunisia and obtained licenses in Natural sciences from Faculty of Sciences, Tunis in 2000. Dr. Kharrat graduated with Master’s degree in Human Genetics from the Faculty of Medecine in Tunis, 2003. In 2004, Najla enrolled for a PhD in Biological Engineering from “Ecole Nationale d’Ingénieurs de Sfax (ENIS), Tunisia” graduating in 2007. Her major research projects include many fields: Biostatistics, analysis of polymorphism in case-control studies, genome annotation.
Dr. Kharrat has participated in the analysis of the project on various analytical tools available for high thought genotyping (200000 SNPs) ongoing within the project “Metabogenetic of Breast Cancer” at “La plateforme bio-informatique; Fondation Synergie Lyon, France”. She a consultant in several cooperation projects with other national teams. Dr Kharrat has good skills concerning analysis tools of association studies including Plink, SPSS, R language, linkage utilities.