Anton Svitin


Leading researcher

Dr. Anton Svitin has graduated from the St. Petersburg State University, Department of Genetics and Biotechnology (called Department of Genetics and Breeding at the time) with B.S. and then M.S. in Biology, both degrees with honors. During his research work in these years he studied yeast prions, a very elegant model for the fascinating genetic phenomenon. Dr. Svitin and his co-workers identified new yeast prion, [ISP+], which manifested as epigenetic modifier of the translation fidelity and later turned out to be the prion form of Sfp1 protein.

Then he joined graduate program at the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics, University of Alabama at Birmingham, USA and in 2010 received his Ph.D. degree. Focus of his thesis was the study of DNA replication and cytokinesis (the process of cytoplasm separation which follows division of the cell nucleus), and their interplay. Dr. Svitin participated in characterization of interaction between replication origin recognition complex protein Orc6 and Pnut, a component of septin complex that drives cytokinesis. This interaction reflects a surprising link between two processes in the cell division – replication and cytokinesis.

Later Dr. Svitin joined research and development branch of the Russian pharmaceutical/biotechnology company “Biocad” where he worked as a Senior Staff Scientist on development of new therapeutic monoclonal antibodies.

As a complement to his background in genetics, molecular biology and biochemistry, as well as experience in biotech industry, Dr. Svitin has gained expertise in the field of computer science, which allows him to accept the challenges of the bioinformatics projects.

During his scientific life Dr. Svitin has received several awards, including first prize of the national student contest (Olympiad) in Genetics in 2003.

At the Theodosius Dobzhansky Center for Genome Bioinformatics Dr. Svitin leads the project on development of the GWATCH, software for analysis and visualization of data from genome-wide association studies (GWAS) and whole-genome sequencing (WGS) association studies. He also participates in other projects, such as annotation of new assembly of the domestic cat genome.

Dr. Svitin’s scientific interests include many bioinformatics-related areas such as software and algorithms development for analysis of biological and other big data, applications of bioinformatics in biotechnology, molecular simulation, and development of models for biological processes and systems.