Workshop: Quantum Biology and Quantum Processes in Biology

November (25) 26-27, 2018 | Alexandria, VA

Quantum phenomena in biological systems has been studied for many years, but the field has slowly progressed in part due to the different backgrounds of biologists and physical scientists and in part due to the lack of well-established funding sources.

This workshop will bring together scientists from biology, physics, chemistry, and quantum information to discuss processes in biology that require quantum theory, like chemical reactions, charge transport, etc. and quantum biological phenomena, where the quantum process is used by the biological system for a particular function, e.g. magneto reception, photon absorption in vision, photosynthesis etc. Quantum information in general and in particular its feasibility in biological systems will be discussed as well. One very interesting question is why biology does not use quantum phenomena more extensively. We have no knowledge of a transistor-like phenomena in biology although it is not hard to imagine that evolution could have developed silicon p-n junctions or organic type transistors.

In particular the following topics will be discussed:

  • Quantum coherences in magneto-reception
  • Quantum coherences in ROS production and Bioenergetics
  • Rhodopsin Photo-isomerization: coherent and incoherent light excitation
  • Vibrational theory of smell – Tunneling effects
  • Tunnel effects in enzymatic reactions
  • The interaction of quantum states of light with biological systems
  • Quantum neurobiology (cognition) –Existence of Microtubule quantum vibrations
  • Light Harvesting complex
  • Quantum entanglement in biological systems
  • What can we learn from biology that we could use in Quantum Information Sciences

Herbert Levine, Rice University, USA
Maria Procopio, JHU, USA

Advisory Board
Graham Fleming, UC Berkeley, USA
Peter Hore, Oxford University, UK
Carla Molteni, Kings College, UK
José Onuchic, Rice University, USA
Zan Luthey-Schulten, UIUC, USA

NSF Contacts
Krastan Blagoev, Physics
Saul Gonzalez, Physics
Wilson Francisco, MCB
Jaroslaw Majewski, MCB
Engin Serpersu, MCB

Sara Bradley