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Novel Biosensor Discovery Utilizing Metagenomics and Bioinformatics

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Army
Contract: W911NF-19-P-0002
Agency Tracking Number: A18B-016-0077
Amount: $149,962.98
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: A18B-T016
Solicitation Number: 18.B
Solicitation Year: 2018
Award Year: 2019
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2018-12-10
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2019-06-12
Small Business Information
701 McMillian Way NW Suite D
Huntsville, AL 35806
United States
DUNS: 185169620
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: Yes
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Anuj Singhal
 Sr. Research Scientist
 (256) 726-4800
Business Contact
 Tanu Singhal
Phone: (256) 726-4800
Research Institution
 HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology
 Pete Yanul Pete Yanul
601 Genome Way
Huntsville, AL 35806
United States

 (256) 327-0488
 Nonprofit College or University

A platform for rapid production of novel sensors is in great demand to protect and aid the Warfighter in today’s ever changing defense landscape. Biosensors are one possible sensing solution as they harness nature’s immense diversity and adaptability to detect desired targets. By coupling synthetic biology with nature’s capabilities, any small molecule can be detected. This project focuses on transcription factor (TF)-based biosensors and seeks to develop a platform for rapid discovery and engineering of naturally-derived TFs to be screened and developed in a cell-free manner. Certain families of TFs possess a signal binding domain, which will regulate downstream expression. These TFs will be exploited for biosensor design. We will use bioinformatics to mine existing databases with information on TFs and their ligand small molecules (SMs) to discover TFs for specific SMs. For uncharacterized SMs, we will employ a functional metagenomics method to discover novel sensing TFs. These TFs will be tested in a cell-free system as biosensors.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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