Although primarily known as the security firm on Eros Station, they also had a large research division.
After Mars discovered silicate anomalies during a routine survey on Phoebe eight years prior to the events of Leviathan Wakes, they approached Protogen as a cosponsor of a research facility to envisage their findings. Protogen recognized it as an agent of extra-terrestrial origin, and dubbed it the protomolecule.
Eros Incident Edit
Further research on the protomolecule by Protogen's division for biological research, headed by executive Vice President Antony Dresden, culminated in the large-scale experiment known as the Eros incident. They were able to move riot gear from Star Helix Security on Ceres to Eros, on which Protogen seemingly had pulled out of their security contract, and placed convicts under the employment of Carne Por la Machina, a puppet organization.
To prepare for the experiment the crew of the Protogen ship Anubis boarded the Scopuli and left it as bait on the asteroid CA-2216862, and took its crew as prisoners to experiment with the protomolecule, of which it carried a sample. All members of both crews succumbed to the infection, but Julie Mao was able to tether the ship to the asteroid BA834024112 and escape in a shuttle, bringing the infection back to Eros.
Protogen was at this point one of the most powerful corporations on Earth, until the OPA attacked their research laboratories on Thoth Station. Led by Fred Johnson, and with the help of the crew of the Rocinante, the OPA took control of Thoth and placed the Protogen scientists in unmarked prisons, with the exception of Vice President Dresden, who was executed by Miller. The last remaining protomolecule sample from Eros fell into OPA hands, giving them political leverage.
The knowledge of Protogen's involvement in the Eros incident was subsequently made public when Eros's live feeds were activated.
Protomolecule Research Edit
Under the direction of Antony Dresden, Protogen recruited scientists from all over the solar system in their efforts to unlock the secrets of the protomolecule. From the initial discovery on Phoebe, research efforts were accelerated as quickly as possible in order to see results, regularly bypassing conventional scientific ethics to do so.
Research Team Edit
In order to accelerate the pace of research and testing trials, all members of the research team were required to undergo a medical procedure altering structural elements of the brain. These alterations created deep sociopathy amongst the researchers, giving them extreme abilities to focus on results-oriented research while free of moral or ethical constraints.
Subjects were temporarily affected initially, and required to agree to a permanent alteration in order to be admitted to the research team.
While aiding the speed of research, side-effects such as extreme anger and violence were prevalent amongst the teams. This was demonstrated during periods of competition amongst team members. Consequently guards were placed in proximity to research team members at all times.