About the Project
We seek applications from enthusiastic, self-motivated students for a funded PhD studentship within the Leverhulme Quantum Biology Doctoral Training Centre (QB-DTC) at the University of Surrey. This project aims to develop quantum enhanced sensing technologies based on genetically engineered fluorescent protein assemblies with optical readout. For more information visit the QB-DTC website.
There is increasing evidence that quantum effects may play a fundamental role in biological processes such as enzymes, photosynthesis, and animal navigation. This is an exciting and emerging field of science that has recently gained huge attention. Notably, recent evidence suggests that the dimeric fluorescent proteins exhibit room-temperature exciton coupling when they dimerise (Kim et al., Biophysical Journal, 2019), which could inspire a new generation of bio-quantum technologies, such as low-cost quantum computers and efficient biosensors that exploit quantum behaviour.
This funded PhD research project aims to develop quantum enhanced sensing technologies based on genetically engineered fluorescent protein assemblies in conjunction with optical readout. In addition, fluorescent protein-based logic gate operation systems that enable quantum computation will be investigated in close collaboration with Dr Vogel’s group at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the USA. Femtosecond optical spectroscopes and molecular biology techniques (e.g., genetic engineering) will be used for this project, and a theoretical model will be developed to describe and predict the biophysical principles of quantum behaviour of the fluorescent protein assemblies in collaboration with theoretical physicists.
The Leverhulme Quantum Biology Doctoral Training Centre at the University of Surrey is led by Profs Johnjoe McFadden (Director) and Jim Al-Khalili (co-Director). The Centre will have access to resources at the University of Surrey’s Advanced Technology Institute (ATI), and in partnership with the National Physical Laboratory, will be able to support PhD students in their research into the realm of quantum mechanics and chemistry in biological processes.
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