A Successful Codeathon! Collaborating to Expand Expertise in African Life Scientists

A Successful Codeathon! Collaborating to Expand Expertise in African Life Scientists

Exciting update! We recently collaborated with the African Society for Bioinformatics and Computational Biology (ASBCB) for their spring OMICS Codeathon, and it was a great success. ASBCB is a professional association dedicated to the advancement of bioinformatics and computational biology in Africa. Codeathons are events focused on technology and software development, where participants work collaboratively to solve problems. 

The ASBCB codeathon program serves as a grassroots training initiative for expanding expertise among African life scientists. It aims to equip participants with valuable skills and knowledge in life science and biotechnology by using research projects, public datasets, and peer-to-peer learning. 

Held virtually from April 22-30, 2023, the spring OMICS Codeathon brought together over 50 participants in 11 teams. Throughout the event, participants had the opportunity to attend workshops, presentations, and panel discussions with the NCBI Education Team. These sessions provided an overview of NCBI Databases, accessing NCBI resources, using EDirect, and visualizing 3D molecular structures:  

The codeathon also featured insightful panel discussions on relevant resources for bioinformatics projects, as well as Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable bioinformatics or “FAIRness”. The panels included leaders from BLAST, PubChem, the NCBI Education Team, and European Molecular Biology Laboratory’s European Bioinformatics Institute. 

The projects in this codeathon covered various areas of interest in OMICS, such as: 

  • Bacterial Diversity in the CoVID-19 Metagenome: An AI-aided Approach 
  • Exploring the Causal Effect of Omega 3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid Levels on the Risk of Type 1 Diabetes: A Mendelian Randomization Study 
  • Integrated Analysis of Genetic Variation, Gene Expression and Methylation Changes in Epilepsy 
  • Designing a Multi-epitope Vaccine Targeting Enterotoxin B in Staphylococcus aureus 
  • Investigating the Genetic Association between Type 2 Diabetes and Dementia 
  • In-silico Identification of Potential Inhibitors of Plasmepsins and Falcipains in Malaria 
  • NeuroVar: A Tool for Visualizing Gene Expression and Genetic Variation in Biomarkers of Neurological Diseases 
  • Genetic Variant Profiling of Multiple Sclerosis Patients 
  • A Portable Pipeline for Pneumonia and CoVID-19 Detection from Chest Images Using Machine Learning 
  • Polygenic Risk Score for Cancer Disease in African Populations 
  • Comparing Assembly-based and Read-based Methods for Identifying Antimicrobial Resistance Genes in Cattle

To learn more about these projects, visit the ASBCB event or the codeathon GitHub space. 

Thank you!

We extend a big thank you to ASBCB, their training officer Olaitan I. Awe, and the codeathon participants for their ideas and enthusiasm throughout the event. 

Stay up to date

Follow us on Twitter @NCBIandjoin our mailing listto keep up to date with NCBI news. Keep an eye out for upcoming NCBI outreach events 


If you have any questions about NCBI codeathons or interest in participating in future NCBI events, please reach out to codeathons@ncbi.nlm.nih.gov.

2 thoughts on “A Successful Codeathon! Collaborating to Expand Expertise in African Life Scientists

  1. Congratulations on the success of the codeathon! I’m particularly interested in the projects that were developed during the event. Can you share any more information about these projects? What were the goals of the projects? What were the challenges that the participants faced?

Leave a Reply