The California NanoSystems Institute at UCLA has formed a new center dedicated to interdisciplinary research on the possible quantum underpinnings of biological processes.

Academic centers specializing in quantum biosciences already exist in the United Kingdom, Germany, South Korea, Denmark and Japan, but the Quantum Biology Center at UCLA is the first such hub in the U.S.

Led by Clarice Aiello, a CNSI member and UCLA assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering, the center will train students and early-career scientists and engineers with a focus on scientific networking. Initial financial support for the center comes from the National Science Foundation, the Kavli Foundation, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and the D’Or Institute for Research and Education.

The Quantum Biology Center will build upon UCLA’s ongoing efforts to cultivate a network around quantum biology. In April 2020, Aiello and her team began holding weekly virtual presentations about quantum biology research; the sessions have drawn dozens of investigators from around the world.

“We need young, diverse interdisciplinary scientists coming into the field,” Aiello said. “We need people in different fields who are comfortable communicating with one another. The center’s mission will be accomplished if our quantum biology trainees candidly ask questions and explore connections between fields.”

Read the full news release.