On May 15, the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) posted a Proposers’ Day notice for its Proteos program (Solicitation Number: IARPA-BAA-17-03). The Proposers’ Day event will take place on July 25. Attendees must register before 5:00pm on July 18.
DNA is the cornerstone of forensic science and is used for human identification in a variety of scenarios, e.g. criminal and missing persons investigations and the identification of human remains. Identification from biological material is dependent on the ability to characterize genetic polymorphisms in DNA. However, DNA is often recovered at very low quantities, is recovered as part of a complex mixture from several contributors, or it is degraded, all which complicate analysis and may obstruct meaningful results. Proteins are often associated with biological trace evidence such as hair and skin, and proteins are relatively more stable than DNA and can persist in the environment for longer periods of time. Protein also contains genetic variation in the form of single amino acid polymorphisms (SAPs). The Proteos Program seeks to analyze the relationship between polymorphisms in the proteome called genetically variable peptides (GVPs) and non-synonymous single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) to provide an additional forensic tool for correlating an individual with particular objects, events, and locations.
The Proteos Program is anticipated to be a three-phase program.
Phase 1: Performers will be expected to develop a GVP discovery pipeline.
Phase 2: Performers will build upon the GVP analysis pipeline developed in Phase 1 and identify rare or personal GVPs.
Phase 3: Performers will capitalize on technical advances accomplished in earlier phases and the performers will be expected to demonstrate a robust capability that is able to distinguish a rare GVP panel under operational scenarios.
Collaborative efforts and teaming arrangements among potential performers are highly encouraged. It is anticipated that teams will include multidisciplinary expertise in forensic science, proteomics, genomics, statistical analysis, molecular biology, and bioinformatics.
Full information is available here.