Signature Science wins IARPA Proteos contract

The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) awarded Signature Science, LLC, a $2.3M contract for the development of the Proteo-ID method, the Austin, TX-based company announced August 16.

Proteo-ID aims to accurately identify people via protein sequencing from human skin cell samples.  The Proteo-ID methodology will significantly expand human forensic analysis through the sequencing of proteins, which are stable biomolecules that contain genetic information in the form of single amino acid polymorphisms (SAPs). Detection of a panel of SAPs, which are directly associated with single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the human genome, will allow human identification at random match probabilities of less than 1 in a billion.

While DNA sequence analysis remains the predominant method used for human identification, DNA can naturally degrade in the environment or be entirely absent from anucleate cell types such as hair or keratinocytes. In such cases, the abundance and robustness to environmental insults of proteins position them as an ideal matrix for forensic analysis. To this end, the Signature Science team will develop and optimize the Proteo-ID method in parallel across two thrust areas: 1) discovery, detection, and identification of genetically variable peptides (GVPs) that contain SAPs to calculate random match probabilities for human samples; and 2) efficient sample preparation techniques to collect and extract protein from touch skin samples with low cell count.

Signature Science has assembled a multi-disciplinary team comprised of molecular biologists, biochemists, geneticists, bioinformatics specialists, analytical chemists, statisticians, computer programmers, and software engineers. The team includes leaders in the field of proteogenomics (The Ohio State University) and investigative genetics (University of North Texas Health Science Center).

Source: Signature Science