There is increasing evidence that quantum effects may play a fundamental role in biological processes. Remarkably, recent evidence suggests that the dimeric yellow fluorescent proteins (VenusA206) exhibit room-temperature exciton coupling when they dimerise. This finding paves the way for systematic approaches to exploring non-trivial quantum effects in biological systems under physiological conditions. Moreover, because cryogenic temperature is not required to observe such a non-trivial quantum effect, genetically engineered fluorescent protein assemblies could inspire a new generation of bio-quantum technologies, such as low-cost quantum computers and quantum-enhanced biosensors. In this talk, I will review the current status of theoretical and experimental studies of fluorescent proteins towards quantum biology.
Youngchan is Lecturer in Quantum Biology at the Department of Microbial Sciences in the University of Surrey. He is also associated with two multidisciplinary research centres in the University: Leverhulme Quantum Biology Doctoral Training Centre (QB-DTC) and Advanced Technology Institute (ATI). He earned his PhD in Physics on the study of ultrafast laser spectroscopy from Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) in 2011. Since his research interest is to use ultrafast spectroscopic approaches to better understand biological processes, he next completed three postdoctoral training fellowships at KAIST (2011-2013), Imperial College (2013-2015), and the US National Institutes of Health (2015-2020). He joined the University of Surrey in May 2020 where he leads an interdisciplinary research group, Quantum Biophotonic Group, mainly interested in the area of quantum biology. His research interests are focused on the study of how evolution has shaped biomolecular structures that exploit quantum effects under physiological conditions. He is also interested in the applications of photonics and ultrafast laser spectroscopy to biomedical imaging.