Dr. Etienne de Villiers
Dr. Etienne is a Principal Investigator in Nuffield Department of Clinical Medicine, University of Oxford and has been employed since 2012 to establish a Bioinformatics and Genomics platform at KEMRI-Wellcome Trust Research Programme in Kilifi, Kenya. He graduated from Stellenbosch University in South Africa with a M.Sc. in Biochemistry, and was appointed Researcher and later, Senior Researcher at the Agricultural Research Council - Onderstepoort Veterinary Institute in South Africa in 1992. Dr. Etienne received his Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from Utrecht University, The Netherlands in 2001. He is a molecular biologist by training that developed an interest in computing and ventured into the area of bioinformatics and has an interest in the application of bioinformatics to develop vaccines and diagnostics for orphan diseases of both livestock and now humans. At Onderstepoort Veterinary Institute he was part of the team that sequenced the first bacterial genome in Africa (Ehrlichia ruminantium) and in 2002 he accepted a Postdoctoral Scientist position at the International Livestock Research Institute, Nairobi, Kenya to establish a bioinformatics unit to support the Theileria parva genome-sequencing project in collaboration with The Institute of Genomic Research (TIGR) to develop a vaccine against East Coast Fever. In 2003 he was appointed as scientist and Bioinformatics Group Leader at the ILRI-BecA platform. He is actively involved in capacity building in bioinformatics in East and central Africa and has introduced several hundred students to the subject. He currently has an appointment as extraordinary lecturer at the Bioinformatics and Computational Biology Unit, University of Pretoria, South Africa and is executive board member of EMBnet, The Global Bioinformatics Network.