The Quantum Biology Laboratory (QBL) at Howard University, Washington DC has commenced a pioneering two-year study with a grant of US$550,000  awarded by The Guy Foundation. This is the third scientific research project supported by The Guy Foundation since it was established in 2018 and the first award outside the UK.

Under the direction of QBL Principal Investigator and Founding Director Philip Kurian, the grant will support the lab in exploring fundamental questions at the nexus of quantum theory, electrodynamics, and biosystems. “This is a landmark moment for the QBL, and for Howard,” said Dr Kurian, a theoretical physicist. “It demonstrates our University’s institutional commitment to research in the quantum sciences, particularly quantum biology.”

Collaborating with researchers in Switzerland (femtosecond spectroscopy) and Mexico (open quantum systems), the QBL is now positioned to be the first group in the world to experimentally demonstrate cooperative quantum phenomena in tubulin protein architectures, which form a significant part of cytoskeletal networks in the brain and throughout the cells of higher organisms. Kurian and colleagues theoretically predicted these cooperative effects in 2019 in the New Journal of Physics.

Future implications of the QBL’s work extend beyond fundamental science. “Oxidative stress, an important factor in the progression and severity of chronic degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and cancer, may modulate or disrupt ultrafast signaling processes in the cell through molecular emission of packets of light. Study of these light-enabled signaling pathways will provide insights into mechanisms behind the mystery of human conscious processing,” said Dr Kurian. “In addition, the QBL’s research may lead to advanced biosensors that can provide earlier-stage clues to disease status, and to novel devices that can harvest light energy beyond the sun’s visible spectrum.”

It is this type of visionary research that attracted The Guy Foundation to the QBL, as the Foundation funds projects that explore quantum mechanics, bioenergetics, and their role in disease processes, to support the translation of a deeper physical understanding into advancing biomedical tools and medical practice. “Awarding this grant to Dr. Kurian was an important step in fulfilling the Foundation’s aims of bringing together leading scientists interested in quantum biology from around the world, which would ensure that this field of science finally reaches a critical mass and fulfills its destiny of answering some of the deepest questions about life itself,” said The Guy Foundation Founder and Chairman Professor Geoffrey Guy.

Further information about the study can be found on The Guy Foundation website here