OSP FO# 11-175

AGENCY: Department of Defense (DOD)/Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)/Defense Sciences Office (DSO)

PROGRAM: Biochronicity

OBJECTIVES: This program provides funding to identify common spatio-temporal instructions or “clock signatures” in the genome, epigenome, proteome, and/or transcriptome across prokaryotic and eukaryotic species. The focus of the program will be on unraveling biological clock systems in prokaryotes and eukaryotes and the efforts of this initiative will contribute to the understanding and management of disease, trauma, human combat performance, and emerging infectious disease countermeasures. Additionally, a greater understanding of molecular oscillators and the evolution of biological clocks will lead to fundamental advancements in developmental science, drug development, aging, and cell death. These fundamental advancements in the understanding of timing in biology can be translated into major breakthroughs in trauma care on the battlefield by accessing the mechanisms that control biological time to improve patient outcomes, for example, by lengthening the window of opportunity for medical and treatment interventions.

This program will be a two-phase, multi-focus program with multiple decision points occurring at the end of each 12 month interval (Phase Ia, Ib, IIa, and IIb) throughout the 48 month effort. Multidisciplinary teaming among biologists, bioinformaticists, mathematicians, physicists, statisticians, and computer scientists is strongly encouraged. It is anticipated that successful model and algorithm construction, refinement, and validation will proceed via integrated efforts between theoretical and experimental communities, and all proposals must contain both theoretical and experimental components.

The Phase I activities of the program are largely focused on the identification of episequences and validation in experimental biological systems. Phase I is anticipated to be 24 months in length, divided into two twelve-month sub-phases, Phase Ia and Ib. Phase II is also anticipated to be 24 months in length and will be split into two equivalent sub-phases, IIa and IIb separated by a decision point. The Phase IIa goals include the advanced development and testing of the predictive model or algorithm against a blind panel of strains composed of the prokaryotic and simple eukaryotic test strain platforms developed in Phase I. The Phase IIb activities consist of multiple ‘Live Fire Tests’ where the power and accuracy of the developed model(s) or algorithm(s) will be tested against a blind panel of unknown prokaryotic and simple eukaryotic strains similar to those organisms that were used for the development and early validation of the algorithm.

DEADLINES: August 30, 2011, 4 p.m. Eastern

FUNDING INFORMATION: The DSO anticipates that it will award multiple grants under this program. The amount of resources made available to this program will depend on the quality of the proposals received and the availability of funds.

AGENCY CONTACT:

Christian Macedonia
DARPA/DSO
ATTN: DARPA-BAA-11-66
3701 North Fairfax Drive
Arlington, VA 22203-1714
Email: DARPA-BAA-11-66@darpa.mil
Web: https://www.fbo.gov/index?s=opportunity&mode=form&id=6b93834c8f85381a24616118025392e0&tab=core&_cview=0
https://www.fbo.gov/download/9d4/9d4d38175a2a0b3cdace1d0faa1721cc/DARPA-BAA-11-66.pdf

REMARKS: Proposals may be submitted in hard copy or using the Grants.gov system. Instructions and forms are available on the Grants.Gov web site (http://www.grants.gov). Additional information about Grants.gov for BU Investigators can be obtained on the OSP web site at: http://www.bu.edu/osp/proposal-preparation/electronic-submission/. Investigators should contact the OSP Assistant Director assigned to their school or department as soon as possible to coordinate submission through the Grants.gov system.

Complete program guidelines and application material (DARPA-BAA-11-66) may be obtained from the web site listed above or from the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP). Please distribute this notice to any faculty or staff members who might be interested in the information. For more information, please contact the OSP at X3-4365 or ospinfo@bu.edu, or visit the OSP web site at http://www.bu.edu/osp.