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The Computational Biology (CBIO) division at the University of Cape Town (UCT) is the centre of bioinformatics activities at the university. It forms part of the Department of Integrative Biomedical Sciences and is located within the Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine (IDM), in the Faculty of Health Sciences. The division carries out research in a number of areas, and provides training and services in the discipline.

The CBIO division at UCT leads H3ABioNet, an NIH-funded Pan African bioinformatics network for H3Africa.


The UCT Computational Biology division aims to carry out world-class research, provide high-quality bioinformatics services and contribute to the development of bioinformatics capacity in South Africa and Africa.


Specific aims:

  • To be an internationally-recognised roleplayer within the discipline of bioinformatics/computational biology, by doing relevant, impactful research
  • To enhance the competitiveness of biological and biotechnological research at UCT, through research and collaboration with other scientists at UCT
  • To provide and co-ordinate a curriculum in bioinformatics so that undergraduate and postgraduate students at UCT are fully engaged with advances in bioinformatics
  • To collaborate with other bioinformatics groups in the country to provide coordinated bioinformatics education and services


  • Engage in high-quality, relevant research in computational biology and to publish this research in high-impact international journals
  • Collaborate with other researchers in the faculties of Science and Health Sciences at UCT to enhance the research productivity of researchers within these faculties


Education and training

  • Teach bioinformatics skills to specialists in computational biology and to laboratory-based molecular biologists
  • Guide the development of, and coordinate a curriculum in bioinformatics for molecular biology researchers, focusing primarily on Honours and final year undergraduate students in the faculties of Science and Health Sciences
  • 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
  • Facilitate transformation within the field of 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