The Eastern Africa Network for Bioinformatics Training (EANBiT) is a collaborative network of three Universities and four research institutes in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda supported by the Forgaty International Center of the National Institutes of Health under the H3Africa Programme.
Masters training, being the first stage of specialized training is a strong determinant of the quality of PhD students in the region. Unfortunately, many universities in the region do not offer bioinformatics training at Master level and those that do often lack sufficient teaching faculty and active research environments where the students can be exposed to high quality data and emerging bioinformatics techniques. Consequently, university and research centers in the region struggle to recruit good quality bioinformatics research assistants and PhD students.
The core objective of EANBiT is therefore to strengthen the application of Bioinformatics in Biomedical Research through individual training, research mentorship and enhancing institutional capacity in Eastern and Central Africa.
The specific objectives of the network include:
- Developing a collaborative platform for promoting and strengthening bioinformatics training and career developments in universities and research institutes in Eastern Africa.
- Developing a harmonized bioinformatics curriculum at Masters level and support its adoption in partner universities.
- Generating a cohort of highly trained bioinformatics Masters graduates who can lead analysis of data generated by H3Africa and other projects.
The expected public health impacts include:
- Progressive development of highly qualified Bioinformaticians with the knowledge and skills to contribute analysis of genomics, genetic and environmental data that are relevant to health in Eastern Africa.
- To have equitable collaborations of highly qualified Bioinformaticians with peers in Africa and elsewhere in support of health research.
- To train at least 12 MSc. Bioinformatics Scholars annually, for at least five years, expecting the graduates to lead research, take part in analysis of complex datasets and train the next generation of bioinformatics.
The institutions involved will include International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology, Uganda Virus Research Institute, KEMRI Wellcome Trust Research Programme, Pwani University, Makerere University, and University of Dar es Salaam.