Professor Nicola Mulder

Computational Biology Group

Professor Nicola Mulder 

Prof Mulder is a Full Member, Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine (IDM), PI of H3ABioNet Bioinformatics Network; PI of the DS-I Africa Open Data Science Platform; co-lead Sickle Cell Data Coordinating Centre; and co-lead of the Wellcome Centre for Infectious Diseases Research in Africa (CIDRI-Africa) Data Integration Platform. 

The Computational Biology (CBIO) Division is the centre of Bioinformatics activities at the UCT. It aims to perform world-class bioinformatics research and provide high-quality bioinformatics education, training and services. Nicola Mulder’s main research interests lie in the areas of genomics, including the development of tools and resources for African genomics and application to human diseases of relevance to Africa.
Pathogen Genomics: The group is working on pan genome analysis of Pneumococcal genomes to determine the mechanism of carriage. It has also developed a graph-based approach for the analysis of different strains of bacterial pathogens and applied this to Mycobacterium tuberculosis. It runs training on pathogen surveillance for the Africa CDC Pathogen Genomics Initiative through the NGS Academy.

African population genetics and diseases: The group has developed new algorithms and tools for the analysis of African genetic data. It developed expertise in GWAS and population genetics and runs an imputation service for H3Africa researchers. It collaborates with researchers to use GWAS data to study the genetic determinants of disease. The group forms the central node for H3ABioNet, the pan African bioinformatics network for H3Africa. The network is building capacity for genomics research in Africa and develops data standards and tools for the data.

Microbiomes: The group works with collaborators to analyse microbiome data related to various diseases. It has developed containerized workflows for this analysis as well as for the analysis of whole genome shotgun metagenomics data. It has also developed a new tool for the analysis of metaproteomic data.

Bioinformatics tools and support: In addition to research, CBIO provides bioinformatics services to other researchers in the Institute and beyond. It has developed workflows for genomics-related data analysis, including GWAS, NGS and variant calling, RNASeq, 16S rRNA analysis, and WGS metagenomics, and develops new algorithms and visualisation tools. It works collaboratively with researchers requiring help with general bioinformatics problems and large-scale data analysis. Through the DS-I Africa Open Data Science Platform, the group provides access to data, tools and computing environments.

Bioinformatics training: The group runs an extensive bioinformatics training program through our projects and networks, building capacity across the continent. It trains bioinformaticians as well as researchers who need to use bioinformatics in their work.

Area of expertiseComputational Biology, Genomics

Selected Publications:

See publications and profile on the Computational Biology Group pages (

Contact details:

Computational Biology Group
Data Analysis Centre, level 2, Wernher & Beit North
Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine
Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town
Observatory, 7925
South Africa

Tel: +27 21 406 6058


Group members:

Staff in the CBIO division can be found here: 
and students and Postdocs are listed here: 


The CBIO division at UCT leads H3ABionet, an NIH-funded Pan African bioinformatics network for H3Africa with 27 African partners.

Mulder also leads the DS-I Africa Open Data Science Platform with 9 partners, including 2 in the USA and 1 in Europe.