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Does Uncle Sam Want Your Bioinformatics Tools? DoD Funding Opportunities Abound


NIH and NSF aren’t the only sources of bioinformatics funding in the US. A number of bioinformatics organizations are already benefiting from the DoD’s ever-growing budget. Consulting firm 3rd Millennium, for example, received a Phase I SBIR contract from the USA-MRMC in Feb. 2002 to develop a bioinformatics system to manage and analyze microarray data. In addition, the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute received a $4.5 million appropriation from Congress in Jan. 2002 for bioinformatics resources and research “with a particular focus on the study of biological threats.” Additionally, the Buffalo Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics received $2 million in DoD appropriations last July.

The Department of Defense Appropriations Act of 2003 provides a total of $355.1 billion in new funding for the DoD, of which $14.8 billion is earmarked for the Defense Health Program, and $459 million of that is set aside for R&D. In addition, the DoD’s Chemical and Biological Defense Initiatives Fund provides $25 million for a range of research areas, including bioinformatics.

Think your project may be of interest to the US military? Here’s a selection of DoD websites with information on submitting unsolicited proposals:

In addition, there are several open SBIR grants available through the DoD:

Accelerated Drug Design Through Computational Biology. Agency: Medical Research and Materiel Command. Closes: August 14, 2003.

Seeking projects to develop computational models for lead compound identification, specifically considering candidate proteins from the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum. Phase I will support development of computational methodologies to generate molecular models of various target proteins. Phase II will support use of the system validated in Phase I to generate molecular models of additional target proteins.


Biological Effects Pattern Recognition Tool Using Multivariate Statistical Data Reduction. Agency: Defense Health Biomedical/Information Management Technology. Closes: August 14, 2003.

Seeking a project to develop a multivariate statistical analysis software tool for measuring and interpreting complex, time-related, global changes in gene, protein, and metabolite expression pattern profiles that will identify toxic substances exposure at subtoxic concentrations. Phase I will support development of a prototype software tool to reduce the complexity of multi-dimensional data with a focus on evaluating the toxicological hazards associated with low-level chemical exposures. Phase II will validate the prototype.

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