Global Security Initiative

DARPA Working Group

Set up for success

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has sponsored some of the greatest technological breakthroughs of the last 50 years, and GSI strives to bring the next breakthroughs to fruition through partnership and coordination.

In pursuit of this goal, GSI established the DARPA Working Group to help ASU faculty forge connections with the agency, stay abreast of funding and research opportunities, and craft compelling, competitive research proposals.

Featured projects

Amplifying cognition, performance and national defense

Associate Professor Stephen Helms Tillery is spearheading an effort to develop applied neurotechnologies to expand human learning and performance. The potential to use neuromodulation, or the process of regulating nervous system activity through electrical stimulation or chemical agents, to activate expanded cognitive abilities is seen as a critical for national security and mission readiness by the Department of Defense.

Fine-tuning gene editing to restore hearing loss

Traumatic hearing loss is the most common service-connected injury among armed forces personnel. Using her expertise in synthetic biology and gene therapy, Assistant Professor Samira Kiani aims to create safer, more controllable and effective ways to restore hearing loss caused by traumatic injury. Kiani is employing the gene-editing tool CRISPR to stimulate genes to generate proteins that could restore nonfunctioning cells in the ear.

Boosting the signal for military communications

Military radio equipment operates at lower frequencies than commercial radios, allowing it to function over longer distances than civilian counterparts. However, such frequencies require bulky, power-hungry equipment with large antennas. Assistant Professor Jennifer Kitchen is looking to streamline these unwieldy devices by integrating recent commercial innovations. Her work holds promise for the optimization of efficiency and performance of military wireless communications hardware from system architecture to single devices.