UCT Computational Biology Unit

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.


CBIO support overview:

CBIO can assist in building bioinformatics pipelines and tools to use, as well as some basic training. The unit has a small computer cluster at CBIO and ICTS have a high performance compute cluster, both of which have several bioinformatics applications and pipelines installed. Members of UCT can apply for access to the ICTS cluster and they provide basic training on how to use the cluster and help with installation and use of new tools. 

We further encourage you to talk to us during the planning phase of your research project. 

CBIO support requests types:

1. Ad hoc requests:  How do we install this software? How do we run that software? Why is my R script broken? Which bioinformatics technique is best for this type of data? Each project can be negotiated on a case‐by-case basis, but generally up to about 8 hours of work can be done without any cost (though CBIO would appreciate acknowledgement on a dissertation or paper). Ad hoc requests will be handled on a case-by-case basis, with queries addressed either via email or alternatively during their open-door consulting hours. Beyond this, the unit needs to negotiate a more formal arrangement, as this requires a significant input of time from their staff, who are employed on other projects. The focus of this type of service is to improve your capacity to help yourself.
2. Collaborative Model: CBIO's preferred model for more extensive work is a collaborative model: they collaborate on your project and the person or persons on their staff who work with you become collaborators. CBIO's role would be scientific and not entirely technical. Such collaboration should apply the ICMJE guidelines regarding authorship.
3. Service for payment: This is not a preferred option but CBIO would consider it. Payment would be made against some Service Level Agreement, and they would negotiate a per hour or per project charge.


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