Recent years have seen a tremendeous increase in the rate at which raw sequencing data is produced due to the reduced cost and improved technology of Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS) platforms. Many researchers across the globe are now adopting multiple "omics" (genome, transcriptome, proteome, epigenome, metabolome and microbiome) technologies to understand life and answer many biological questions. The analysis of such large "multi-omics" datasets, however, does come with its challenges, especially to a Bioinformatics novice and researchers with little or no Bioinformatics background.

The challenges that come with Bioinformatics data analyses include: data transfer (from sequencing facility) and storage; selection and installation of appropriate tools; computational resources; working on the Linux/UNIX environment (most Bioinformatic tools are UNIX-based); creating scripts for handling inputs/outputs and repititive tasks; reproducing results; and sharing analyses methods with the research community. WitsBITS offers Bioinformatics services to assist researchers in and around the Wits community with their "multi-omics" datasets, from storage to analysis and biological interpretation.

The Bioinformatics services offered include (but are not limited to):

  • Bioinformatics research project planning
  • Transfer and storage of NGS data on the Wits Core Cluster
  • Creation of user accounts on the Wits Core Cluster:
    • Access to high-performance computing (HPC) and Bioinformatics tools
    • Installation of new Bioinformatics tools required by users
    • Introduction to the Linux/UNIX environment
  • Analyses and interpretation of NGS genomic data:
    • Genomic data:
      • Genome assembly and annotation
      • Variant calling
    • Transcriptome data:
      • Differential gene expression
      • Pathway analysis
    • Microbiome data:
      • Indentification of microbial species and their abundance
    • Proteomics and Structural Bioinformatics
  • Bioinformatic workflows (pipelines)
    • Access/assistance with available workflows
    • Design and implementation new workflows
  • Bioinformatics teaching (as courses or small group sessions)

Bioinformatics services are offered at negotiated fees. For detailed quotes and queries, please contact: Phelelani.Mpangase@wits.ac.za