Tuesday, July 10, 2012

ASU Secures Defense Contracts

Arizona State University (ASU) was awarded a four year contract for $30,718,054 from the Defense Threat Reduction Agency to develop a novel diagnostic technology called immunosignaturing. The technology when developed would rapidly detect the exposure to infectious disease agents before the symptoms occur. Stephen Albert Johnson, Co-Director of the Center for Innovations in Medicine at ASU’s Biodesign Institute will lead the project.

Although this project seeks to develop a sophisticated and highly sensitive detection system to protect military personnel against bioterrorism, it is anticipated that immunosignature profiling will be equally valuable to advance the rapid detection of infectious and other diseases in conventional medical settings.

Another ASU Professor Hao Yan received a $6.25 million five year basic research award under DOD’s Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative (MURI) program. The MURI program complements DOD basic research with single-investigator university research. The highly competitive MURI program will award $155 million over the next five years for 23 research projects subject to available funds. 

Professor Yan and his team will do research to further design 3-D artificial enzyme centers. The goal is to ultimately build nano-scale devices to mimic biological systems such as important biochemical pathways implicated in diseases or energy conversion during photosynthesis.