Introduction: Genomics Facility at Nelson Mandela School of Medicine, UKZN, Executive Summary

Continuing advances in next generation genomic analysis are rapidly changing the way we approach our research. The setup of our high-throughput genomics facility at the Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine, UKZN, Durban, South Africa allows the production and analysis of genomic data at an unprecedented scale.

Genetic sequencing is increasingly used to investigate pathogens and human genes that affect health. We have transfered one of the world’s most advanced and respected genetic sequencing systems to Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine, UKZN in order to enable and support world-class genomics research. The proposed system is fully automated and uses robust laboratory and informatics methodology in order to generate high-quality genomic data (relating to any pathogen or human gene) at a fraction of the cost of commercial or in-house research laboratories in Africa, which use more labour-intensive processes and do not buy bulk reagents at discounted prices. The proposed facility is envisaged to become a national scientific resource and to become a truly sustainable facility of interest to UKZN and other research institutes and comercial partners within Africa and as such would be able to attract funding and deliver high-impact scientific output.

Management: The genomics facility is chaired by a lead researcher (Prof. Tulio de Oliveira) with a steering committee (SC) and administrative support, whose activities are, among others, to evaluate and select applications for the usage of the genomics facility.

Partners: Centre for the Aids Programme of Research in South Africa (CAPRISA), HIV Pathogen Program (HPP), Jembi Health Systems, Centre for Proteomic & Genomic Research (CPGR), Makerere University/UVRI Infection and Immunity Research (MUII), South African Medical Research Council (MRC) and University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN).

Funding: South African Medical Research Council, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, European Commission, National Research Foundation and University of KwaZulu-Natal

Time: The genomic facility is fully functional.


High-Throughput Genomics Facility at Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine, UKZN, Durban, South Africa

Videos that highlight the construction of our genomics facility.

Page last updated by Tulio de Oliveira, March 2015