Overview of Project
Quantum information science (QIS) has grown to become one of the most promising scientific disciplines of the 21st century, emerging from advances in quantum electronics, spintronics, and optics, with most studies focused on isolated and inanimate systems. However, QIS has been naturally heading toward systems of increasing complexity, where reliable quantum information can be sustained and processed even at ambient temperature, approaching in this way steadily toward the scales of complex biological structures. Interconnections between QIS and biology have thus started to grow, as well as the number of scientists working at the interface between these two broad fields.
Understanding how nature exploits nontrivial quantum phenomena such as coherences, in the context of a noisy electrodynamic milieu, can be useful for designing bio-inspired and optimized quantum sensors. Studying biomolecules in the context of quantum information science would permit the use of techniques developed in molecular and synthetic biology, such as DNA splicing, origami, and gene editing, as well as in solid-state physics and quantum optics. The goal here is to create novel multi-scale architectures for storing and sensing quantum information. Understanding the mechanisms of collective information processing in complex bionetworks - including neurological, metabolic, and cellular signaling circuits - and how information at various scales drives self-organization in living systems can further advance quantum information science by providing new frameworks for quantum simulations and quantum error correction.
The time is ripe for assessing the feasibility and advantages of developing hybrid systems that combine biological tools with QIS tools, in order to overcome current foundational and technological challenges for advancing quantum sensing, processing, and simulations.
This project seeks to bring together research communities from fields as diverse as photonics and spintronics, genetic, biomedical and quantum engineering, systems, molecular, and quantum biology, to validate and assess existing and emerging interconnections that will potentially stimulate radically new transformative science and engineering vistas at the interface of biology and QIS, and they will ultimately pave the way toward a Quantum Information Bioscience Institute (QIBI).
Our research team has a broad range of expertise in solid state physics, quantum optics, quantum biology, genetics and biological physics.
We are planning to conduct two workshops as well as a number of engagement activities. Before and after the workshops, these activities will consist of surveys and virtual meetings, in order to identify community needs and requirements for bridging the quantum information and biological sciences. The project team will use the results of the surveys and virtual meetings to develop the key foci, agenda, and desired outcomes of each workshop. Furthermore, the results will be widely disseminated via newsletters. A community report will also be produced to assess critical science and engineering needs. Newsletters, survey outputs, and social media will be used to provide broad dissemination and engagement and to enhance and promote training and workforce development opportunities. The workshops, surveys, virtual meetings, and community management approach will allow the conceptualization team to build an evolving understanding of the challenges for a sustainable QIS within the framework of biological systems, thereby assessing team readiness for a CI. We envision the possibility of a hub-with-spokes network of young and senior scientists across all six inhabited continents.
After conceptualization, our future QIBI would propose the development of capabilities for novel theories and experiments for advanced applications in quantum sensing and simulation.