Defense Advanced Research Projects AgencyTagged Content List

Harness Biological Systems

Leveraging genetic technologies to engineer synthetic or natural organisms

Showing 6 results for Bio-systems + Disease RSS
DARPA’s Biological Technologies Office develops capabilities that embrace the unique properties of biology—adaptation, replication, complexity—and use these features to revolutionize how the United States prepares and protects its citizens, Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines from threats at home and abroad. Example new Department of Defense capabilities include the ability to counter novel bioterrorism, deploy innovative biological countermeasures to protect its forces, and accelerate warfighter readiness/overmatch for adversary threats.
DARPA has enjoyed a strong relationship with Silicon Valley since the early 1960s, working with innovators to lay the groundwork for new industries built around Agency investments in semiconductors, networking, artificial intelligence, user interfaces, programming, materials, microsystems, and more. Biotech is now emerging as a breakthrough opportunity space and it represents an area that is ripe for fresh collaboration among DARPA, the nation’s top researchers, venture capitalists, and entrepreneurs.
Protection against many common pathogens and environmental stressors is written into our DNA. Our skin responds to sun exposure. Our immune system mounts defenses when we get the flu. Our bodies inherently work to mitigate the potential for harm caused by these health threats. However, these intrinsic responses are not always quick, robust, or appropriate enough to adequately defend us from harm, which is why many people experience sunburn after intense sun exposure or suffer severe symptoms, even death, following exposure to the flu.
June 13, 2018,
Westin Arlington Gateway Hotel
DARPA’s Biological Technologies Office is hosting a Proposers Day meeting to provide information to potential applicants on the structure and objectives of the new PReemptive Expression of Protective Alleles and Response Elements (PREPARE) program. PREPARE will explore ways to better protect against biological, chemical, or radiological threats by temporarily and reversibly tuning gene expression to bolster the body’s defenses against—or directly neutralize—a given threat. It will focus on four key health challenges as proofs of concept: influenza viral infection, opioid overdose, organophosphate poisoning, and exposure to gamma radiation.
Program Manager
Dr. Blake Bextine joined DARPA as a Program Manager in March 2016. He is interested in novel approaches to addressing issues facing agricultural biotechnology and biosecurity, including nucleic acid-based anti-pathogen/anti-pest strategies, insect and plant transformation strategies for rapid trait selection, and innovative approaches for altering insect behaviors.