The joint congress of the South African Society for Bioinformatics (SASBi) and the South African Genetics Society (SAGS) was held at the Nelson Mandela school of Medicine, University of Kwa-Zulu Natal 20-23rd September 2016. The biennial SASBi and SAGS congresses are the premier national scientific meetings uniting scientists working in the overlapping disciplines of bioinformatics and genetics in South Africa. The congress theme was “Bridging the Gap” with an emphasis on decoding genetics for integration and application, to understand the function and evolution of biological systems from a single gene to a whole genome level.

The congress involved researchers from institutions across the country and provided an ideal platform for postgraduate students to present their research. Several Fabians presented talks and posters at the congress (Ms Danielle Roodt, Dr Nanette Christie, Ms Andrea Wilson, Ms Lorraine Mhoswa, Ms Liezel Potgieter, Mr Matt Laubscher, Mr Yves du Toit, Mr Stefan Engelbrecht, Ms Alisa Postma-Smit, Ms Arista Fourie, Ms Ariska van der Nest, Ms Bianca Rodrigues Jardim, Mr Buyani Ndlovu, Mr Robert Backer, Ms Stephanie van Wyk, Ms Dora Mkabili, Mr Riaan Swanepoel and Prof. Lucy Moleleki) and a plenary lecture was delivered by Prof. Zander Myburg. Dr Sanushka Naidoo, Dr Albé van der Merwe and Dr Irene Barnes were elected to the executive of the SAGS council with Dr. Naidoo being elected as president of the society, Dr Barnes as secretary and Dr van der Merwe as website manager. Dr. Steven Hussey was also elected as an additional member. The next joint congress will take place in 2018 in Bloemfontein and will be hosted by the University of the Free State.