● ACE CApIC, Nigeria
○ Prof. E. F. Adebiyi, Covenant University, Ota, Nigeria.
○ Prof. E. Adetiba, CApIC-ACE, Covenant University, Ota, Nigeria.
○ Dr. Joke A. Badejo, Covenant University, Ota, Nigeria.
● ACE MITIC, Senegal
○ Prof. Maissa Mbaye, Gaston Berger University, Senegal.
○ Dr. Dame Diongue, Université Gaston Berger, Senegal
● Prof. Israël Esan Owolabi, Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State, Nigeria.
● Dr Temitayo Ejidokun, Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State, Nigeria.
● Prof. F.A. Ibikunle, Landmark University, Omu Aran, Kwara State, Nigeria.
● Prof. A.A. Adebiyi, Landmark University, Omu Aran, Kwara State, Nigeria.
● Prof. C. Takenga, Université Libre des Pays des Grands Lacs (ULPGL), Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
● Prof. B. Mushage, Université Libre des Pays des Grands Lacs (ULPGL), Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
● Saleh Maitala, IBM, West Africa.
● Chukwuma Okpaka, HP (Nigeria)
Title: Development of a secure federated genomics cloud architecture for precision medicine in Africa
Type of project: Research project (4 years)
Next-generation sequencing and other high-throughput technologies are currently transforming life sciences and healthcare research worldwide. Cloud computing has therefore been adopted to meet researchers' high-level storage and computing needs. At the same time, the deployment of traditional stand-alone cloud architecture is hampered by limited computing and storage resources at peak times. To remedy this, the idea of interconnecting multiple clouds, known as a federated cloud, has been developed to realize inter-institutional collaborations in storage and computing power. Existing federated cloud architectures published for generic research communities, such as the GARR federated cloud, the European federated cloud and the Massachusetts open cloud, are strictly accessible to researchers in their respective geographical areas. Canada's Genomic Cloud also focuses specifically on genomic research activities for precision medicine in Canada. Unlike their counterparts in developed regions, the scarcity of infrastructure for data storage, processing and interpretation is a major limiting factor for discovery, innovation and precision medicine in Africa. There are a few institutions and consortia on the continent with high-performance computing resources. These include the H3Africa/H3Abionet consortium (h3africa.org and h3abionet.org) and WACREN, but for the time being, most of these resources operate rather in silos. Consequently, the aim of this research project is to develop a secure federated genomic cloud architecture for collaborative research towards precision medicine in Africa. The federated cloud architecture will include hardware infrastructure, open source software, a data security and privacy model, interfaces and federation protocols. To achieve this goal, two PhD students will be recruited to work respectively on i) the evolution of a secure federated genomic cloud architecture (SEC-FEDGEN) and ii) the development of a data security and privacy model in a federated cloud. Proof-of-concept (PoC) test beds will be developed to evaluate and validate the components of the SEC-FEDGEN architecture. More specifically, based on the advanced architecture, genomic cloud testbeds will be set up at four different CApIC-ACE partner sites in Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), thanks to funding already secured under the World Bank's ACE Impact project. These genomic cloud testbeds will be federated to build a prototype secure federated genomic cloud infrastructure (SEC-FEDGEN) for the deployment of precision medicine in Africa. APIs and cloud services will also be developed based on the proposed data security and privacy model. For the purposes of this proposal, H3Africa (a pan-African bioinformatics consortium) is currently working to establish protocols for precision medicine in Africa. Ultimately, the proposed SEC-FEDGEN architecture can serve as a model for setting up testbeds or federated cloud data centers for other areas of research. The consortium for this research is made up of CApIC-ACE and CEA-MITIC (with their respective industrial and academic partners). The consortium has complementary skills in high-performance computing, cloud computing, artificial intelligence and cybersecurity. CApIC-ACE is a member of the H3Africa/H3Abionet network. CApIC-ACE researchers, led by Professor E. F. Adebiyi, are working to generate genomic data (from African subjects) underlying malaria, prostate and breast cancers, with funding from the ACEImpact project. The analysis of these data will be piloted on the SEC-FEDGEN test bench to be set up.
● Digital science research themes: cloud computing, high-performance computing, cybersecurity, artificial intelligence.
● Other research themes and application areas: eHealth, data science, massive data analysis, software engineering.