Bioinformatics and Computational Biology Unit opens

From SERA e-News, October 2003

The new ACGT Bioinformatics and Computational Biology Unit recently opened at the University of Pretoria. This unit, initiated in the Department of Biochemistry, is housed on the 3rd floor of the newly constructed extension to FABI. It includes offices, a post-graduate lab that can accommodate 22 students, a high-end server room, a seminar room and a 24-PC training lab.

The Bioinformatics and Computational Biology Unit acts as the Pretoria node of the National Bioinformatics Network which falls under the ACGT umbrella. Participants include University of Pretoria, the CSIR, University of the North and the Agricultural Research Council (ARC) Onderstepoort Veterinary Research Institute.

Activities include the training of post-graduate students, and undergraduate and post-graduate degrees in Bioinformatics, for implementation in 2005, are currently being registered. Other activities include collaborative research, independent research, internal and external service provision, and training by means of short courses.

High-end equipment include a Silicon Graphics Origin 2000 server, a Sun V880 server, a 64x CPU Linux cluster, and SAN storage and backup facilities.

Dr Fourie Joubert, Specialist Bioinformaticist at the University of Pretoria, currently manages the unit in which eight post-graduate students are already active.