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DARPA awards Duke $19.5 million to detect viral infection before symptoms appear

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the research arm of the U.S. Department of Defense, has awarded Duke University $19.5 million for an effort led by the Duke Institute for Genome Sciences & Policy (IGSP) to design a portable, easy-to-use diagnostic device that can reveal who is infected with an upper respiratory virus before the first cough or sneeze.

DARPA is interested in such a device because it could offer military commanders in the field valuable information about which soldiers are likely to become sick and potentially unfit for duty.

The project, under the direction of Geoffrey Ginsburg, M.D., Ph.D., director of the IGSP's Center for Genomic Medicine, is being conducted by a broad and experienced team of investigators including Christopher Woods, M.D., MPH; and Aimee Zaas, M.D., MPH, from Duke's Division of Infectious Disease; Lawrence Carin, Ph.D, from Duke's Pratt School of Engineering; and Alfred Hero, Ph.D, from the University of Michigan's College of Engineering.

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