In 2016, South Africa saw its highest number of road deaths in 10 years. Just over 14 000 people died on South Africa’s roads that year. To address this crisis, researchers and policymakers need to understand the behaviour of road users. Interdisciplinary research to understand the behaviour of drivers is in the pipeline at UCT, thanks to a connection made by UCT eResearch between researchers from two different campuses, and two entirely different fields of research.
As part of the Human Heredity and Health in Africa (H3Africa) project, researchers at UCT are investigating the microbial communities that live in the nasal passageways and throats of children to better understand the development of pneumonia and wheezing illness. Gerrit Botha and Dr Katie Lennard – bioinformaticians based at the Computational Biology Division (CBIO) and members of the Pan African Bioinformatics Network for H3Africa – have developed a streamlined process for analysing microbiome samples on the university’s high-performance computing system.
When Professor Stefan Barth – Department of Science and Technology/ National Research Foundation South African Research Chair in Cancer Biotechnology – moved his laboratory to UCT from Germany two years ago, he envisioned a place where the knowledge shared between himself and his laboratory members would be contained in a secure, persistent digital repository. UCT eResearch was able to support Barth and help make his vision a reality.
UCT is home to myriad facilities, instruments, software packages and services that are used by a range of researchers. The trouble is that these resources are expensive to buy and to maintain. To ensure sustainability, not only do the various facilities need to be used by as wide a community of researchers as possible, but an effective billing system needs to be in place: enter Calpendo.