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Defense Department Gives ISB $7.7M to ID Sepsis Biomarkers Using Next-gen Sequencing

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The US Department of Defense today said it has awarded the Institute for Systems Biology a contract for nearly $7.7 million to use next-generation sequencing to identify biomarkers that predict post-operative sepsis during the asymptomatic phase of infection.

The work is being done for DoD's Defense Threat Reduction Agency and is expected to be completed May 29, 2016, DoD said.

Through an ISB spokesperson, Kai Wang, a principal scientist at ISB, told GenomeWeb Daily News, in an e-mail that research will be directed at identifying biomarkers in peripheral blood. Wang, along with Adrian Ozinsky, an assistant professor at ISB, are the principal investigators on the DoD contract.

A "comprehensive and integrated systems approach will be used to discover, quantify and validate biomarkers of sepsis," Wang said. "With this approach, we aim to produce biomarker tests to guide therapeutic intervention at the earliest possible stage after infection and thereby prevent the onset of potentially dire systemic sequelae."

He added that next-generation sequencing will be performed to characterize the blood transcriptome, "both the endogenous and exogenous origin" to identify potential biomarkers.