John Wanyande Oketch – Pwani University

I have always been interested in understanding the genetic basis of human diseases which requires analysis of genomic data. Bioinformatics is integral in genomic research, every day we are faced with different problems that require different approaches and solutions. And through computational biology we will be able to gain a deeper understanding of the genetic basis of human diseases that will aid in proper diagnosis and treatment. Therefore, my main focus is on the
Comparison of the Patterns of Spread of Human Metapneumovirus (HMPV) and Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) in Africa using Virus Sequence Data.

Martha Muthina Luka – Pwani University

My first hands on experience in the field of bioinformatics was during my Post Graduate Diploma studentship at the KEMRI-Wellcome Trust Research Programme (KWTRP). I would define bioinformatics as the key to appreciating biology, everyday biologists exert themselves to understand various aspects of life, creating millions of pieces of data. Bioinformatics uses these pieces to reconstruct the bigger picture: life’s systems. The main challenge in my research has been delays in shipment of consumables.

Brian Bwanya Edward – Pwani University

In my sophomore year, I got introduced to molecular biology, which was the gateway for me to bioinformatics. After learning various techniques of molecular biology, I wondered what else is done with the data generated by those techniques. At that time on campus, we had one Bioinformatics graduate student who briefly gave a lecture and introduced the entire class to bioinformatics, to this date it is one of the best lectures I’ve ever had, I knew for sure Bioinformatics was the field that I wanted to pursue as a career. My research is on the
Comparison of Mitochondrial Genetics of Zoophilic and Domestic Aedes Aegypti Strains in East Africa to Strictly Anthropophilic Strains in other Continents.

Joseph Mulama Atemia – Pwani University

Bioinformatics is a discipline that involves the use of computational tools and skills to come up with solutions for biological questions. My interests developed during my second year of my undergraduate studies in Biochemistry, when I met my first paragon in the Bioinformatics profession who was teaching me and became my inspiration. Since then, I engaged in learning and pursing Bioinformatics as a career.

Margaret Wanjiku – Pwani Univeristy

I was fascinated by the idea of DNA being the blue print of life during my undergraduate, it determined how we look, diseases that are inherited and what not. This made me want to study DNA in depth and understand it and bioinformatics offered this chance. My research has been fun but to be honest it comes with its own challenges. Some days, I have to really push myself to keep going but fundamentally my love and passion for the field keeps me going even when I am stuck and feeling like I am not making any progress in my project. EANBiT has funded my journey and opened doors for me, I have met like-minded researchers and been able to pick their brains.

Joyce Kabagenyi – Pwani University

I majored in biology for my bachelor’s degree and loved the process of DNA-RNA-Protein. When I joined the workforce, I was very intrigued by the possibility of uncovering the molecular drivers that were underlying the observed dynamic immune profiles in states of disease. This motivated me to build a career in Computational Biology and thus launching into bioinformatics as first step. My research title is Understanding the Effect of Congenital and Perinatal Infections on Immune Responses to Vaccines and Common Childhood Infections in Infants: A Big Data Approach.
Understanding the Effect of Congenital and Perinatal Infections on Immune Responses to Vaccines and Common Childhood Infections in Infants: A Big Data Approach.

Henrick Aduda Kola – Pwani University

I secured an internship opportunity at Kenya Medical Research Institute, Nairobi, towards the end of the internship program, I decided to apply for the EANBIT scholarship program to study Bioinformatics at Pwani University funded by EANBiT. My greatest takeaway is the power of collaboration, there is immense power when a group of people with similar interests get together to work towards a common goal. EANBIT has supported this by creating a suitable learning environment for us during the EANBIT residential training in Nairobi and Kilifi. I got to truly see the power of collaboration through the mini-project that was assigned to us and as a result, this experience has catapulted my learning process.

Michael Kofia Landi – Pwani University

Bioinformatics became a major interest of mine when I was introduced to a unit in my Biochemistry undergraduate course. However, the first time I wrote a code in Perl that printed “Hello world!” I was definitely sure that was the path I wanted to peruse. At the moment I am working on a new topic Immune-Informatics: Optimizing annotation of bovine immunoglobulin sequences, novel germline allele discovery and simulation of immune repertoire evolution of the African breeds, which is a really interesting experience. Bioinformatics has a great future in terms of medical genomics and genetic diseases for example. Accessibility of the sequencing platform is rapidly increasing and will help solve a lot of biological questions.

Festus Nyasimi - Pwani University

I got into the Bioinformatics field during my Post graduate studentship at KEMRI-Wellcome Trust where I was using NGS technology to study the epidemiology and evolutionary dynamics of Influenza B Virus. I had an opportunity to generate massive genomic data using MiSeq. The daunting task was doing the genomic data analysis and that is how I got myself into bioinformatics. The experience has been great and rewarding. I do enjoy doing different bioinformatics analyses and coding. I get to learn new skills often and these have pushed me to even explore further on how much I can do individually. My greatest lesson has been to always believe in yourself and it is never too late to follow your passion. Basically, everything you ever want is on the other side of fear. EANBiT gave me the opportunity to chase my passion and I never doubted myself since then. I am thankful for their immense support and will keep on sharing what I have learned.