IARPA Proposers' Day for Proteos Program

July 25, 2017 -
9:00am to 3:00pm
About This Event: 

The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) will host a Proposers’ Day Conference for the Proteos Program on 25 July 2017 in anticipation of the release of a new solicitation. The Conference will be held from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM EDT in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. The purpose of the conference will be to provide information on the Proteos Program and the research challenges the program seeks to address, to receive and discuss questions from potential proposers, and to provide an opportunity for potential proposers to present their capabilities for teaming opportunities. This announcement serves as a pre-solicitation notice and is issued solely for information and planning purposes. The Proposers’ Day Conference does not constitute a formal solicitation for proposals or proposal abstracts. Conference attendance is voluntary and is not required to propose to future solicitations (if any) associated with this program. IARPA will not provide reimbursement for any costs incurred to participate in this Proposers’ Day.

DNA is the cornerstone of forensic science and is used for human identification in a variety of scenarios, e.g. criminal and missing persons investigations and the identification of human remains. Identification from biological material is dependent on the ability to characterize genetic polymorphisms in DNA. However, DNA is often recovered at very low quantities, is recovered as part of a complex mixture from several contributors, or it is degraded, all which complicate analysis and may obstruct meaningful results. Proteins are often associated with biological trace evidence such as hair and skin, and proteins are relatively more stable than DNA and can persist in the environment for longer periods of time. Protein also contains genetic variation in the form of single amino acid polymorphisms (SAPs). The Proteos Program seeks to analyze the relationship between polymorphisms in the proteome called genetically variable peptides (GVPs) and non-synonymous single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) to provide an additional forensic tool for correlating an individual with particular objects, events, and locations. 

The Proteos Program is anticipated to be a three-phase program.
Phase 1: Performers will be expected to develop a GVP discovery pipeline. Phase 1 of the Proteos Program will focus on discovery and identification of common GVPs recovered from protein in human touch samples. Performers will characterize proteomes expected in touch samples and identify GVPs that can be used for identification. Performers will also be expected to develop sampling protocols that do not preclude DNA analysis, therefore, demonstration of protein and DNA recovered from samples will be expected by the end of Phase 1. Performers in Phase 1 will be required to analyze GVPs from touch samples obtained from surfaces under varying conditions to include variability in time from deposition to sampling, variability in environmental conditions and surfaces to include brass shell casings, plastic bottles, and desktops. The end result should be a GVP discovery workflow that optimizes protein recovery and maximizes GVP discovery with a low false positive rate.

Phase 2: Performers will build upon the GVP analysis pipeline developed in Phase 1 and identify rare or personal GVPs. Performers will be given exome sequence data of individuals and challenged to develop a rare GVP panel that will distinguish those corresponding individuals in mixtures of touch samples and demonstrate its performance. Throughout Phase 2, performers should continue to optimize sample extraction/purification for single and multiple rare GVP samples to minimize false positives.

Phase 3: Performers will capitalize on technical advances accomplished in earlier phases and the performers will be expected to demonstrate a robust capability that is able to distinguish a rare GVP panel under operational scenarios. In this final phase, performers will be given exomic sequence information of individuals and then evaluated on the ability to distinguish each individual based on their rare GVP panel under varying collection conditions to include: degraded samples, varying heat and humidity, confounding factors such as multiple contributors, exogenous proteins in operational scenarios. Collaborative efforts and teaming arrangements among potential performers are highly encouraged. It is anticipated that teams will include multidisciplinary expertise in forensic science, proteomics, genomics, statistical analysis, molecular biology, and bioinformatics.

Attendees must register no later than 5:00 PM EDT on 18 July 2017, at https://eventmanagement.cvent.com/ProteosPD. Directions to the conference facility and other materials will be available on that website. No walk-in registrations will be allowed. Due to space limitations, attendance will be limited to the first 125 registrants, with no more than 2 representatives attending per organization. All attendees will be required to present a government-issued photo identification to enter the conference.

The morning session will include an overview of the program goals, technical challenges, and expected participation requirements. A description of how the solutions will be evaluated will be provided.

The afternoon will include a poster session to provide an opportunity for attendees to present their organizations' capabilities and to explore teaming arrangements. Attendees who wish to present organization capabilities for teaming opportunities may submit a request through the registration web site. Details on the poster format, and the procedure for submitting a request to present, will be provided after approval to register for the conference has been granted. Available space for posters will be limited. Posters will be limited, therefore, to the first 25 registered respondents who request a poster presentation. These presentations are not intended to solicit feedback from the Government, and Government personnel will not be present during the poster session.

This Proposers' Day is intended for participants who are eligible to compete on the anticipated Broad Agency Announcement (BAA). Other Government Agencies, Federally Funded Research and Development Centers (FFRDCs), University Affiliated Research Centers (UARCs), or any other similar organizations that have a special relationship with the Government, that gives them access to privileged or proprietary information, or access to Government equipment or real property, will not be eligible to submit proposals to the anticipated BAA nor participate as team members under proposals submitted by eligible entities. While such entities are not prohibited from attending the Proposers' Day, due to space limitations, preference will be given first to those organizations that are eligible to compete. IARPA will not provide reimbursement for costs incurred to participate in this conference. By registering on the Federal Business Opportunities (FBO) website, conference participants may choose to add their contact information to the Interested Vendors List on FBO for the purpose of teaming, or exchange information during the conference. A separate attendees list will not be provided.

Questions concerning conference & registration can be sent to dni-iarpa-events@iarpa.gov.
Questions regarding the program can be sent to dni-iarpa-baa-17-03@iarpa.gov.

Contracting Office Address:
Office of the Director of National Intelligence
Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity
Washington, District of Columbia 20511 United States

Primary Point of Contact:
Kristen E. Jordan
Program Manager