Dr Frank Schwach | Senior Computational Biologist

Schwach, Frank

My main project is the development of the software tools and web portal supporting PlasmoGEM - a genome-wide resource of gene modification vectors. The software is used to automate the gene modification design process, track constructs though the wet lab pipeline and analyse deep-sequencing data for quality control purposes. In addition, I provide bioinformatics support for various projects in the lab, including transcriptomics and proteomics assays.

I obtained a PhD in plant virology at the University of Hamburg (Germany) in 2002 before joining the lab of David Baulcombe at the Sainsbury Laboratory in Norwich (UK), working on the mechanisms of small-RNA-mediated anti-viral gene silencing. With the advent of next-generation sequencing, I shifted my focus to the computational analysis of high-throughput sequence data. I continued this work at the University of East Anglia, developing a collection of web-based tools for the analysis of large-scale small RNA data. In December 2009, I joined the Billker lab to support the PlasmoGEM team.


  • A genome-scale vector resource enables high-throughput reverse genetic screening in a malaria parasite.

    Gomes AR, Bushell E, Schwach F, Girling G, Anar B et al.

    Cell host & microbe 2015;17;3;404-413

  • PlasmoGEM, a database supporting a community resource for large-scale experimental genetics in malaria parasites.

    Schwach F, Bushell E, Gomes AR, Anar B, Girling G et al.

    Nucleic acids research 2015;43;Database issue;D1176-82

  • A Plasmodium calcium-dependent protein kinase controls zygote development and transmission by translationally activating repressed mRNAs.

    Sebastian S, Brochet M, Collins MO, Schwach F, Jones ML et al.

    Cell host & microbe 2012;12;1;9-19

  • Comparative genomics in Chlamydomonas and Plasmodium identifies an ancient nuclear envelope protein family essential for sexual reproduction in protists, fungi, plants, and vertebrates.

    Ning J, Otto TD, Pfander C, Schwach F, Brochet M et al.

    Genes & development 2013;27;10;1198-215

  • A scalable pipeline for highly effective genetic modification of a malaria parasite.

    Pfander C, Anar B, Schwach F, Otto TD, Brochet M et al.

    Nature methods 2011;8;12;1078-82

  • Phosphoinositide metabolism links cGMP-dependent protein kinase G to essential Ca²⁺ signals at key decision points in the life cycle of malaria parasites.

    Brochet M, Collins MO, Smith TK, Thompson E, Sebastian S et al.

    PLoS biology 2014;12;3;e1001806

  • A toolkit for analysing large-scale plant small RNA datasets.

    Moxon S, Schwach F, Dalmay T, Maclean D, Studholme DJ and Moulton V

    Bioinformatics (Oxford, England) 2008;24;19;2252-3

  • miRNAs control gene expression in the single-cell alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii.

    Molnár A, Schwach F, Studholme DJ, Thuenemann EC and Baulcombe DC

    Nature 2007;447;7148;1126-9

  • An RNA-dependent RNA polymerase prevents meristem invasion by potato virus X and is required for the activity but not the production of a systemic silencing signal.

    Schwach F, Vaistij FE, Jones L and Baulcombe DC

    Plant physiology 2005;138;4;1842-52

Schwach, Frank