20 years on: How PEPFAR brought hope in Africa’s fight against HIV/Aids
March 2, 2023
Congratulations to Henrietta Monye
March 23, 2023

A testimonial with three-time course and more than 8 training/Hands-on participant – Nessrine MEZZI

Currently I am a PhD student. I have attended not one, not two but three H3Africa/H3BioNet courses in the span of three years. I am very delighted to share with you my testimonial about how these training and courses have benefitted me in my career.

I am from a small city in Northern Tunisia, Bizerte.  I am currently pursuing a PhD in Biological Science at Pasteur Institute in Tunis – University of EL-MANAR, Tunisia. I am an introvert by genetics, and like reading literature about human genetics and history.

The spectrum of genetic diseases in Tunisia is highlighted by a broad allelic and clinical heterogeneity.

The identification of disorders with atypical/novel forms are increasingly being described among Tunisian patients which are very challenging for accurate diagnosis. My PhD research project is focused on the molecular investigation of these diseases. I am using next generation sequencing to elucidate the molecular etiology of ultra-rare genetic diseases in our population.

I have attended three H3Africa/H3ABioNet courses:
1. 2019: Introduction to Bioinformatics (participant)
2. 2019: African Genomic Medicine Training Initiative (Facilitator)
3. 2020: 16S rRNA Microbiome Intermediate Bioinformatics course (participant)

Why did I choose to attend multiple H3Africa/H3ABioNet courses?

I started working on the definition of the whole spectrum of genetic diseases during my masters studies. My project required understanding of human sequencing techniques, and at the time, I had no expertise with NGS mainly the Whole Exome Sequencing. While seeking for opportunities to learn NGS, I discovered an H3ABionet course on introduction to Bioinformatics. I applied and I got selected. Several considerations, including materials/resources and learning opportunities for researchers worldwide, inspired me to take further H3Africa/H3ABioNet courses relevant to my research.

H3ABioNet offers to applicants around the world the possibility to attend online courses in several fields of interest in multiple node sites. The best part of these courses is the practical work; it comprises more than half of the course and is designed to suit students with diverse research backgrounds.

The number of participants in each course is limited, which provides more time for participants to connect and discuss projects with trainers.

I also appreciate the host and the trainers of courses who are always available, and they respond quickly. This is one of the reasons I keep returning to H3Africa/H3ABioNet opportunities.