AUSTIN, TEXAS – April 23, 2019 – Signature Science, LLC has been awarded funding for Phase 2 of their work supporting the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity’s (IARPA) Functional Genomic and Computational Assessment of Threats (Fun GCAT) program. The research team will continue development of their Sequence to Functional Analysis of Threats (S2FAST) software for screening short DNA sequences to reveal species of origin, functional annotations, and threat assessments. Phase 2 funding is valued at $1.9 million.
The challenge is to overcome the sensitivity and precision limitations of contemporary synthetic DNA screening practices to rapidly extrapolate functional information and isolate a prospective threat within a segment of DNA. The research team will continue development of Phase 1 core sequence analysis tools for sensitive taxonomic identification and functional characterization of short input sequences. The multi-disciplinary team is comprised of molecular biologists, bioinformatics specialists, statisticians, and software engineers.
Signature Science was a prime performer for Phase 1 of IARPA’s Fun GCAT program. “We are proud of the Phase 1 scientific advances made by our dedicated and capable team and appreciative of the continued confidence and trust shown us by the IARPA leadership and program staff. Signature Science and our teaming partners remain fully committed to program success,” said William Thompson, Signature Science President & CEO.
Work under the contract is expected to be performed at Signature Science’s facilities in Austin, TX, Arlington, VA, and Charlottesville, VA, as well as partner facilities in Houston, TX, College Park, MD, and Newark, CA.
Researchers from Signature Science, Rice University, University of Maryland, Fraunhofer USA Center for Experimental Software Engineering, and ATUM will combine complementary expertise to further develop advanced computational tools to predict the function and threat potential of short DNA sequences.
About Signature Science, LLC: A subsidiary of the Southwest Research Institute, Signature Science, LLC is a scientific and technical consulting firm providing multi-disciplinary applied research, technology design and development, and scientific, technical and operational services to government and industry.
This effort is supported by the U.S. Army Research Office. The content of this release does not necessarily reflect the position or the policy of the Government, and no official endorsement should be inferred.