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Strengthening Bioinformatics and Genomics Analysis Skills in Africa for Attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals: Report of the 2nd Conference of the Nigerian Bioinformatics and Genomics Network

Itunuoluwa IsewonDepartment of Computer and Information Sciences, Covenant University, Ota, Ogun State, Nigeria;
Covenant Applied Informatics and Communication African Centre of Excellence (CApIC-ACE), Covenant University, Ota, Ogun State, Nigeria;
Covenant University Bioinformatics Research (CUBRe), Covenant University, Ota, Ogun State, Nigeria;

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Chisom SoremekunThe African Computational Genomics (TACG) Research Group, MRC/UVRI, and LSHTM, Entebbe, Uganda;
Department of Immunology and Molecular Biology, College of Health Science, Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda;
H3Africa Bioinformatics Network (H3ABioNet) Node, Centre for Genomics Research and Innovation, NABDA/FMST, Abuja, Nigeria;

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Marion AdebiyiDepartment of Computer and Information Sciences, Covenant University, Ota, Ogun State, Nigeria;
Covenant Applied Informatics and Communication African Centre of Excellence (CApIC-ACE), Covenant University, Ota, Ogun State, Nigeria;
Covenant University Bioinformatics Research (CUBRe), Covenant University, Ota, Ogun State, Nigeria;
Department of Computer Science, Landmark University, Omu-Aran, Nigeria;

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Charles AdetunjiDepartment of Microbiology, Edo State University Uzairue, Edo State, Nigeria;

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Adewale Joseph OgunleyeMicrobiology, Biozentrum, Julius Maximilian University, Wuerzburg, Germany;

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Amos Orenyi BajehDepartment of Computer Science, Landmark University, Omu-Aran, Nigeria;

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Emmanuel Oluwatobi AsaniDepartment of Computer Science, Landmark University, Omu-Aran, Nigeria;

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Babatunde GbadamosiDepartment of Computer Science, Landmark University, Omu-Aran, Nigeria;

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Opeyemi SoremekunThe African Computational Genomics (TACG) Research Group, MRC/UVRI, and LSHTM, Entebbe, Uganda;

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Brenda UdosenThe African Computational Genomics (TACG) Research Group, MRC/UVRI, and LSHTM, Entebbe, Uganda;
H3Africa Bioinformatics Network (H3ABioNet) Node, Centre for Genomics Research and Innovation, NABDA/FMST, Abuja, Nigeria;

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Christopher KintuThe African Computational Genomics (TACG) Research Group, MRC/UVRI, and LSHTM, Entebbe, Uganda;
Department of Immunology and Molecular Biology, College of Health Science, Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda;

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Roseline OgundokunDepartment of Computer Science, Landmark University, Omu-Aran, Nigeria;

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Micheal Olaolu ArowoloDepartment of Computer Science, Landmark University, Omu-Aran, Nigeria;

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Opeyemi MatilukoDepartment of Computer Science, Landmark University, Omu-Aran, Nigeria;

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Oyekanmi NashiruH3Africa Bioinformatics Network (H3ABioNet) Node, Centre for Genomics Research and Innovation, NABDA/FMST, Abuja, Nigeria;

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Ezekiel AdebiyiDepartment of Computer and Information Sciences, Covenant University, Ota, Ogun State, Nigeria;
Covenant Applied Informatics and Communication African Centre of Excellence (CApIC-ACE), Covenant University, Ota, Ogun State, Nigeria;
Covenant University Bioinformatics Research (CUBRe), Covenant University, Ota, Ogun State, Nigeria;
Division of Applied Bioinformatics, German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Heidelberg, Germany;

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Chinwe EkennaDepartment of Computer Science, University at Albany, Albany, New York;

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Segun FatumoThe African Computational Genomics (TACG) Research Group, MRC/UVRI, and LSHTM, Entebbe, Uganda;
H3Africa Bioinformatics Network (H3ABioNet) Node, Centre for Genomics Research and Innovation, NABDA/FMST, Abuja, Nigeria;
Department of Non-Communicable Disease Epidemiology, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, United Kingdom

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ABSTRACT.

The second conference of the Nigerian Bioinformatics and Genomics Network (NBGN21) was held from October 11 to October 13, 2021. The event was organized by the Nigerian Bioinformatics and Genomics Network. A 1-day genomic analysis workshop on genome-wide association study and polygenic risk score analysis was organized as part of the conference. It was organized primarily as a research capacity building initiative to empower Nigerian researchers to take a leading role in this cutting-edge field of genomic data science. The theme of the conference was “Leveraging Bioinformatics and Genomics for the attainments of the Sustainable Development Goals.” The conference used a hybrid approach—virtual and in-person. It served as a platform to bring together 235 registered participants mainly from Nigeria and virtually, from all over the world. NBGN21 had four keynote speakers and four leading Nigerian scientists received awards for their contributions to genomics and bioinformatics development in Nigeria. A total of 100 travel fellowships were awarded to delegates within Nigeria. A major topic of discussion was the application of bioinformatics and genomics in the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG3—Good Health and Well-Being, SDG4—Quality Education, and SDG 15—Life on Land [Biodiversity]). In closing, most of the NBGN21 conference participants were interviewed and interestingly they agreed that bioinformatics and genomic analysis of African genomes are vital in identifying population-specific genetic variants that confer susceptibility to different diseases that are endemic in Africa. The knowledge of this can empower African healthcare systems and governments for timely intervention, thereby enhancing good health and well-being.

Author Notes

Address correspondence to Segun Fatumo, Department of Non-Communicable Disease Epidemiology, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, United Kingdom. E-mail: segun.fatumo@mrcuganda.org

Co-first authors.

Authors’ addresses: Itunuoluwa Isewon, Department of Computer and Information Sciences, Covenant University, Ota, Ogun State, Nigeria, Covenant Applied Informatics and Communication African Centre of Excellence (CApIC-ACE), Covenant University, Ota, Ogun State, Nigeria, and Covenant University Bioinformatics Research (CUBRe), Covenant University, Ota, Ogun State, Nigeria, E-mail: itunu.isewon@covenantuniversity.edu.ng. Chisom Soremekun, The African Computational Genomics (TACG) Research Group, MRC/UVRI, and LSHTM, Entebbe, Uganda, Department of Immunology and Molecular Biology, College of Health Science, Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda, and H3Africa Bioinformatics Network (H3ABioNet) Node, Centre for Genomics Research and Innovation, NABDA/FMST, Abuja, Nigeria, E-mail: somsoremekun@gmail.com. Marion Adebiyi, Department of Computer and Information Sciences, Covenant University, Ota, Ogun State, Nigeria, Covenant Applied Informatics and Communication African Centre of Excellence (CApIC-ACE), Covenant University, Ota, Ogun State, Nigeria, Covenant University Bioinformatics Research (CUBRe), Covenant University, Ota, Ogun State, Nigeria, and Department of Computer Science, Landmark University, Omu-Aran, Nigeria, E-mail: marion.adebiyi@lmu.edu.ng. Charles Adetunji, Department of Microbiology, Edo State University Uzairue, Edo State, Nigeria, E-mail: adetunjicharles@gmail.com. Adewale Joseph Ogunleye, Julius Maximilian University, Wuerzburg, Germany, E-mail: ogunleie.ad@phystech.edu. Amos Orenyi Bajeh, Emmanuel Oluwatobi Asani, Babatunde Gbadamosi, Roseline Ogundokun, Micheal Olaolu Arowolo, and Opeyemi Matiluko, Department of Computer Science, Landmark University, Omu-Aran, Nigeria, E-mails: bajeh.amos@lmu.edu.ng, asani.emmanuel@lmu.edu.ng, gbadamosi.babatunde@lmu.edu.ng, ogundokun.roseline@lmu.edu.ng, arowolo.micheal@lmu.edu.ng, and matiluko.opeyemi@lmu.edu.ng. Opeyemi Soremekun, The African Computational Genomics (TACG) Research Group, MRC/UVRI, and LSHTM, Entebbe, Uganda, E-mail: opeyemisoremekun@gmail.com. Brenda Udosen, The African Computational Genomics (TACG) Research Group, MRC/UVRI, and LSHTM, Entebbe, Uganda, and H3Africa Bioinformatics Network (H3ABioNet) Node, Centre for Genomics Research and Innovation, NABDA/FMST, Abuja, Nigeria, E-mail: brendaumoh6@gmail.com. Christopher Kintu, The African Computational Genomics (TACG) Research Group, MRC/UVRI, and LSHTM, Entebbe, Uganda, and Department of Immunology and Molecular Biology, College of Health Science, Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda, E-mail: christopherkintu@gmail.com. Oyekanmi Nashiru, H3Africa Bioinformatics Network (H3ABioNet) Node, Centre for Genomics Research and Innovation, NABDA/FMST, Abuja, Nigeria, E-mail: oyekan.nash@gmail.com. Ezekiel Adebiyi, Department of Computer and Information Sciences, Covenant University, Ota, Ogun State, Nigeria, Covenant Applied Informatics and Communication African Centre of Excellence (CApIC-ACE), Covenant University, Ota, Ogun State, Nigeria, Covenant University Bioinformatics Research (CUBRe), Covenant University, Ota, Ogun State, Nigeria, and Division of Applied Bioinformatics, German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Heidelberg, Germany, E-mail: ezekiel.adebiyi@covenantuniversity.edu.ng. Chinwe Ekenna, Department of Computer Science, University at Albany, Albany, NY, E-mail: cekenna@albany.edu. Segun Fatumo, The African Computational Genomics (TACG) Research Group, MRC/UVRI, and LSHTM, Entebbe, Uganda, H3Africa Bioinformatics Network (H3ABioNet) Node, Centre for Genomics Research and Innovation, NABDA/FMST, Abuja, Nigeria, and Department of Non-Communicable Disease Epidemiology, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, United Kingdom, E-mail: segun.fatumo@mrcuganda.org.

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