"Mount Sinai Gets $27.8M DARPA Grant for Epigenetic Tech to Measure WMD Exposure"
The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai announced that it has been awarded a $27.8 million contract from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to find epigenetic markers in blood that identify previous exposure and time of exposure to materials that could be associated with weapons of mass destruction. The agreement is part of DARPA's new Epigenetic Characterization and Observation (ECHO) program, which will develop new approaches to analyze epigenetic markers and new instrumentation that can be used in the field by operators with minimal training. “Current forensic and diagnostic screening technologies can only detect the immediate presence of many materials and require sensitive instruments,” Stuart Sealfon, MD, director of the Center for Translational Systems Biology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and DARPA contract’s principal investigator, said in a statement. “The ECHO technology we and our partners are developing through the DARPA program will enable us to quickly read someone's epigenome from a small amount of blood to reveal possible exposure to infectious agents, chemicals, or radiation, even when other physical evidence has been erased."
— Stuart Sealfon, MD, Director, Professor, Neurology, Neuroscience, Pharmacological Sciences, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai