Bioinformatics and Data science Training

Bioinformatics and Data science Training

About the training

As part of the Capacity Development, and Bioinformatics and Data Science themes, SynBio Africa will hold a 20-week virtual training of 42 participants in bioinformatics and data science from February to June 2022. On December 22nd, 2021, SynBio Africa requested applications for training in Bioinformatics and Data Science. SynBio Africa received more than 400 applications from Africa and across the world, and SynBio Africa will sponsor 42 participants.  We are looking for funds to train those who were not selected.  The training will provide a learning forum for researchers in bioinformatics and data science analysis of various “omics” data sets.

Key topics to be covered in the training include;

  • Bioinformatics, biological databases, and genomic resources
  • Genomics and next-generation sequencing (NGS) technologies
  • Linux
  • Statistics, and R and RStudio
  • RNA and DNA sequence analysis
  • Microbial community analysis

The training is sponsored by SynBio Africa. Participants are not required to pay any training fee.

The training will be conducted by a team of facilitators drawn from the SynBio Africa bioinformatics and data science experts who are affiliated with The Ohio State University (USA); Gulu University  (Uganda),  and Case Western Reserve University (USA)–Makerere University (Uganda).


Dr. Stephen Obol Opiyo

Dr. Stephen Obol Opiyo is a Bioinformatics Research Scientist at The Ohio State University, USA; a Director of Bioinformatics and Data Science, Research and iGEM, and Innovation Hub at SynBio Africa; an Affiliated Scientist at Biosciences eastern and central Africa-ILRI, Nairobi, Kenya; a Data Scientist and a co-founder of Patira Data Science, USA; a Visiting Scientist at The University of Sacred Heart, Gulu, Uganda; and a Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer at Umkele an African synthetic biology Innovation startup, registered in Seychelles, and the UK.

 He obtained his Ph.D. in Bioinformatics from The University of Nebraska-Lincoln, USA, and Post-Doctoral training at the same University where he developed interests in Data Science and “omics”. His primary research interests lie in machine learning, multivariate statistics, bioinformatics, and data mining. And his training interest lies in the capacity building of African scientists, researchers, students, etc. in bioinformatics and data science, synthetics biology, artificial intelligence, and biotechnology.  In the last seven years, he has been supervising, collaborating, and training students, fellows, post-docs, and scientists from eastern, central, and southern Africa.

He lectures, trains, and gives workshops in statistics, bioinformatics, metabolomics, proteomics, genomics, metagenomics, and data science. Dr. Opiyo has many years of experience in data mining, analytics, big data, and crowdsourcing analysis. He uses robust statistical, mathematical, and machine learning, artificial intelligence methods to assess, understand, and analyze data to discover knowledge from structured and unstructured data.  In addition, he works as a consultant in private sectors both in developed and developing countries discovering knowledge from data and developing web-based user-friendly tools to solve problems using machine learning algorithms. He leads a team of data scientists, developers, geospatial analysts, and data analysts working in both developed and developing countries to develop predictive analytics tools using machine learning algorithms. Thus, he has all the necessary skills and experience to work with the SynBio Africa team to lead this training.

Additional information about Dr. Opiyo:


Linkedin profile:

Google Scholar profile:

Bioinformatic tools:

Peace Aber

Ms. Peace Proscovia Aber is a Lecturer at Gulu University and a Biostatistician/Bioinformatician heading the CHAIN data section at the Case Western Reserve University–Makerere University Research Collaboration in Kampala. She is also an instructor at the University of Sacred Heart Gulu where she teaches Business Intelligence at a post-graduate level. Over the last five years, she has been teaching students in statistics and artificial intelligence (machine learning) methods for health data analytics as well as bioinformatics. Her research involves discovering knowledge from biological data using bioinformatics tools and working with bioinformatics databases. Her current interest focuses on the application of biostatistics, bioinformatics, and artificial intelligence methods in synthetic biology. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Statistics and an MSc in Statistics (Biostatistics) from Makerere University and a Certificate in Data Science from the Africa Data School.

She is a dedicated Biostatistician/Bioinformatician/data scientist professional with a history of meeting project goals utilizing consistent and organized practices. Skilled in adapting to new situations and challenges to best enhance the outcome of projects. She has 8 years of experience in teaching, analyzing, and interpreting clinical, lab, and research data. Sound experience in designing research, sampling, and validation, developing statistical analysis processes, managing and manipulating data sets, modeling and machine learning algorithms as well as Artificial intelligence. Proficient in R/Studio, PYTHON, STATA, SPSS programming.

LinkedIn Profile:


SynBio Africa Bioinformatics and Data Science Training Program  (Cohort 1)

Week 1:

8 February   2022 Training opening Opening Remarks   Geoffrey Otim
Welcome and Introduction Introduce trainers Introduction of participants Participants expectations All Trainers  All Participants Geoffrey Otim
Bioinformatics and Data Science Training mechanics bioinformatics and data science Information in Bioinformatics Stephen Opiyo Peace Aber
10 February   2022 Bioinformatics and Data Science Bioinformatics databases Searching data in bioinformatics databases Introduction to Linux Stephen Opiyo Peace Aber    

Weeks 2 and 3:

14 February   to 25 February   2022 Introduction to R/RStudio and R syntax The basic data structure in R: vectors Data types in R: character, numeric, logical Beyond vectors: matrices, lists, and data frames Manipulating data: subsetting, replacing, etc.Basic descriptive statistics and base R graphs “R 2.0” concepts with the tidyverse environment: the piping operator %>%, tibbles and dplyr, tidyr dataset reshapings (2 sessions)ggplot2 for beautiful graphs Stephen Opiyo Peace Aber

Week 4:

1 March   and 3 March 2022 Statistical methods for analyzing “Omics” and field data ANOVA Non-parametric tests Regression and Correlations PCA, PCOA, distance measure, AMOVA, PARMANOVA Stephen Opiyo Peace Aber

Weeks 5 and 6

8 March   to 17 March   2022 RNASeq data analysis  
Quality Control of NGS data Stephen Opiyo Peace Aber
Introduction to RNASeq
RNASeq Analysis

Weeks 7 and 8

22 March   to 31 March   2022 Genomics data analysis  
Genome-Wide Association analysis Stephen Opiyo Peace Aber
Genetic diversity analysis

Weeks 9 and 10

5 April   to 14 April   2022 Microbial community data analysis  
Species-level identification of bacteria and fungus through common markers (ITS, 16S, 18S) Databases for species-level identification Within-sample and across-sample measures of diversity A pipeline for metagenomics from NGS reads Further processing with R through packages for microbiome data analysis and visualization Stephen Opiyo Peace Aber

Week 10

  Closing of the training  
14 April   2022 Feedback /evaluation of the training, Closing of the training and distribution of Virtual Certificates Participants   Geoffrey Otim


Cohort 1

No Name Gender Country
1 Philippe Sessou M Benin
2 Sarah Salah F Egypt
3 Christian Keambou Tiambo M Kenya
4 Ferrera Laila F Morocco
5 Igbokwe Joseph Odunayo M Nigeria
6 Usama Aliyu M Qatar
7 Omer Salih Dawood Omer  M Saudi Arabia
9 Primrose Muthoni Ndungu  F Kenya
9 Damiano Raphael Kwaslema M Tanzania
10 Velma Okaron F Uganda
11 Lucky Osemu Ebaluegbeifoh M Cameroon
12 John Oluwafemi Teibo M Brazil
13 Mbu’u Mbanwi Cyrille F India
15 Marilyne Aza-Gnandji F Senegal
15 Girma Beakal Tadesse M Ethiopia
16 Caroline Chepngeno Tigoi F Kenya
17 Willard Kamowa Mbewe  M Malawi
18 Doreen Ditshwanelo  F Botswana
19 Diana Kasake F Uganda
20 Fanele Mnguni F South Africa
21 Dennis Mujuni M Uganda
22 Erikan Blaku M Uganda
23 Nderitu Kathyn Wanjiku F Kenya

Cohort 2

No Name Gender Country
1 Rachida NAMOUNE F Algeria
2 Duaa Ahmed Idries M Sudan
3 Mvogo Nyebe M USA
4 Nametso Kelentse F Botswana
5 Otobong Donald Akan  M China
6 Kevin KARUME LUBULA M Democratic Repblic of Congo
7 Molly Kukua Abban F Ghana
8 Waliyullahi Ajibola M Hungary 
10 Moses Okello M Ivory Coast
11 Hasnaa MALLOUK F Morocco
13 Mabel K. Aworh F Nigeria
14 Mutangana Dieudonné M Rwanda
16 Khethiwe Mtshali  F South Africa
17 Ayman Ahmed Mohamed Elamin Ahmed M Switzerland
18 Houria DAIM F Tunisia
19 Anjellina Rukundo F Uganda
20 Sabah Ibrahim  F United Kingdom
21 Olga Kamanga F Zambia


Synbio Africa is a forum for researchers, students, citizen scientists, policy makers and the public at large to convene and develop successful pathways for the propagation of synthetic biology technologies, products and services throughout Africa.

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