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The University of Cape Town (UCT) Computational Biology (CBIO) Division is the centre of Bioinformatics activities at the university.  It aims to perform world-class bioinformatics research and provide high quality bioinformatics education, training and services. The CBIO Division is part of the Department of Integrative Biomedical Sciences and is located within the Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine (IDM) in the Health Science Faculty. The division performs bioinformatics research and provides training and services in the discipline.

CBIO leads H3ABioNet, an NIH funded Pan African bioinformatics network for H3Africa.


The UCT Computational Biology Group aims to become an exceptional, internationally recognised research and training center, addressing the challenges of bioinformatics capacity development in South Africa.

Specific aims

  • Establish an active research group in bioinformatics/computational biology at UCT, gaining international recognition through the publication of highly relevant research in scientific journals.
  • Enhance, in this way, and through collaboration with other scientists at UCT, the competitiveness of biological and biotechnological research at UCT.
  • Provide and co-ordinate a curriculum in bioinformatics so that UCT undergraduate and postgraduate students benefit to the maximum extent from advances in bioinformatics.
  • Interact with other Bioinformatics groups in the country in the provision and development of coordinated bioinformatics education and services.
  • Produce high-quality relevant research in computational biology and to publish this research in high-impact international journals.
  • Collaborate with other researchers in the Science and Health Sciences faculties at UCT to enhance the research productivity of researchers within these faculties whose research can benefit from bioinformatics. The success of this collaborative research will be measured by the publication of co-authored research papers in international scientific journals.

Education and training

  • Teach bioinformatics skills to specialists in computational biology and to laboratory-based molecular biologists.
  • Guide the development and coordinate a curriculum in bioinformatics for molecular biology researchers, focusing primarily on Honours and final year undergraduate students in the Science and Health Sciences faculties.
  • Provide training courses for postgraduate students (MSc and PhD) who have not received adequate training in computational biology.
  • Contribute to the development and teaching of an undergraduate stream in bioinformatics for students who may wish to specialize in computational biology.
  • Contribute to the teaching and development of a National Bioinformatics Curriculum.
  • Tackle effectively the lack of students from previously disadvantaged backgrounds in bioinformatics.


  • Develop a high-throughput biology data analysis platform to serve the needs of the South African researchers generating data through genome sequencing, microarray and proteomics experiments.
  • Provide bioinformatics services to researchers at UCT who require custom bioinformatics services for their research.
  • Interact with the wider Bioinformatics community to collaborate in the provision of further relevant bioinformatics services in the areas of genomics and proteomics.