Quantum biology studentships
We invite applications from excellent candidates for fully funded PhD studentships, covering fees and maintenance, for October 2019 entry. These exciting studentship opportunities will span a wide range of topics, from molecular biology to biochemistry and nanotechnology to quantum physics.
Energy generation through electrogenic organism microsystems
Funding information:All University fees are covered for the duration of the project with a stipend of approximately £15,000 per year for eligible UK/EU students.
Why study quantum biology?
Evidence is growing that quantum behaviours may play a non-trivial role in a number of processes found in nature. Entanglement (spooky action at a distance), superposition (where objects can exist in two places at once) and tunnelling (travel through impenetrable barriers) are all involved to varying degrees in the biological processes of photosynthesis, respiration, enzyme action, olfaction, bird navigation and mutation. These quantum behaviours, harnessed in a biological capacity finally address some unanswered questions, and in the process may uncover new approaches to solar power, drug discovery or new diagnostics, in addition to biomimetic modelling of quantum computing.
A quantum mechanical model of adaptive mutations, J. McFadden and J.S. Al-Khalili, BioSystems 50 (1999) 203–211.
Enzyme dynamics and hydrogen tunnelling in a thermophilic alcohol dehydrogenase. Kohen, A., Cannio, R., Bartolucci, S., & Klinman, J. P. (1999). Nature, 399(6735), 496.
Resonance effects indicate a radical-pair mechanism for avian magnetic compass. Ritz, T., Thalau, P., Phillips, J. B., Wiltschko, R., & Wiltschko, W. (2004). Nature, 429(6988), 177.
Atomic description of an enzyme reaction dominated by proton tunneling. Masgrau, L., Roujeinikova, A., Johannissen, L. O., Hothi, P., Basran, J., Ranaghan, K. E., ... & Leys, D. (2006). Science, 312(5771), 237-241.
Evidence for wavelike energy transfer through quantum coherence in photosynthetic systems. Engel, G. S., Calhoun, T. R., Read, E. L., Ahn, T. K., Mančal, T., Cheng, Y. C., ... & Fleming, G. R. (2007). Nature, 446(7137), 782.
Molecular vibration-sensing component in Drosophila melanogaster olfaction. Franco, M. I., Turin, L., Mershin, A., & Skoulakis, E. M. (2011). Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 108(9), 3797-3802.
Environment-induced dephasing versus von Neumann measurements in proton tunneling, A.D. Godbeer, J.S. Al-Khalili, and P.D. Stevenson, Phys. Rev. A 90 (2014) 012102.
Modelling proton tunnelling in the adenine–thymine base pair, AD. Godbeer, J.S. Al-Khalili and P.D. Stevenson, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys. 17 (2015) 13034-13044.
The origins of quantum biology, J McFadden and J.S. Al-Khalili, submitted to Proc. Royal Soc. A (2018).