Welcome to the homepage for the research group on quantum mechanics of biomolecular processes, led by Dr Alexandra Olaya-Castro.

Alexandra gave a talk at TEDx Bogata in October 2016 on breaking down stereotypes of women in science. Watch it here. (You may need to watch with a Spanish speaking friend!)

Our research aims to elucidate fundamental quantum principles underlying energy capture, transfer and conversion at the biomolecular level. We develop theoretical approaches that bring together in a complementary fashion concepts from modern quantum science, physical chemistry and biophysics. We focus particularly on predicting signatures and consequences of non-trivial quantum behaviour in the electronic and vibrational dynamics of photo-activated biomolecules. To this end we are following four main lines of scientific inquiry:
  1. Open quantum systems approaches to exciton and charge transfer dynamics in photosynthetic complexes
  2. Non-classical features of electronic and vibrational dynamics in biomolecules
  3. Counting statistics and noise characterisation in charge and exciton transfer processes
  4. Quantum thermodynamics of biomolecular processes
We are part of the AMOPP and Biological Physics groups in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at UCL and make up one node of the European-wide project PAPETS (Phonon Assisted Processes for Energy Transfer and Sensing). We gratefully acknowledge funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council of the UK and the EU's Seventh Framework Programme for Research.