DTRA awards ASU defense contract for biodefense

The Defense Threat Reduction Agency of the U.S. Department of Defense has awarded Arizona State University a four year defense contract worth $30,718,054 to develop a rapid pathogen detection system for biodefense and medical use.

The technology, called immunosignaturing, will use a silicon chip system to detect a broad range of infectious organisms based on what specific antibodies they trigger in the human body. The contract has a base period of 12 months valued at $9,057,732, with an option period of 36 months valued at $21,660,322.

Immunosignature profiling can be used by both military personnel in the detection of bioterrorism and by conventional medical doctors for the rapid detection of infections and other diseases.

Stephen Albert Johnston, the co-director of ASU's Center for Innovations in Medicine, will lead the project with co-principal investigators George Poste and Neal Woodbury. Poste is the chief scientist of the Complex Adaptive Systems Initiative and Woodbury is the co-director of the Center for Innovations in Medicine. The Complex Adaptive Systems Initiative is a research focus of the Office of Knowledge Enterprise Development.

"Our success in securing this federal contract, one of the largest in ASU's history, is a compelling validation of the strength of our research faculty and our growing track record in innovation and technology," Sethuraman Panchanathan, the senior vice president of Knowledge Enterprise Development, said.

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U.S. Department of Defense

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