NITheP Research Workshop: Quantum Biology

NITheP Research Workshop: Quantum Biology

NITheP Research Workshop in Quantum Biology at UKZN in 7-11 November 2011

Hosted by:

The National Institute for Theoretical Physics (NITheP), South Africa.



F. Petruccione (UKZN and NITheP, South Africa)

I. Sinayskiy (UKZN and NITheP, South Africa)

A. Marais (UKZN and NITheP, South Africa)

Conference secretary:

Nelisiwe Mncube

Phone: +27 (0)31 260 7570 | Fax: +27 (0)31 260 8090


7 November 2011 to 11 November 2011


Quantum theory has been successful so far in describing microscopic phenomena occurring in inanimate systems consisting of photons, electrons and atoms, while the life sciences deal with living systems on a macroscopic scale. For the first time, the regimes of applicability of these two areas of science are intersecting: quantum physicists are able to describe systems of increasing complexity, while life‐scientists are able to give increasingly detailed explanations of macroscopic phenomena in terms of molecular structures and mechanisms. Recent progress in experimental techniques has allowed the first ever identification of quantum effects in biomolecular dynamics. Understanding the relevance of these effects is a fast‐growing and fascinating direction of research. Quantum biology is an emerging and fast‐growing field as a result of diverse and international scientific research input. This workshop would be an opportunity to strengthen existing research collaborations, as well as to create new collaborations with leading experts from around the world.

Topics and Speakers:

Modeling photosynthetic exciton transport on random graphs “, A. Buchleitner (University of Freiburg, Germany)

A. Ekert (National University of Singapore, Singapore; University of Oxford, UK)

3. Quantum and Classical Interplay in Biological SystemsG. G. Guerreschi (University of Innsbruck, Austria)

quantum Goldilocks effect: optimality, robustness, and the convergence of timescales in quantum transport”, S. Lloyd (MIT, USA)

“A Simple Model of Decoherence Assisted Transport”, A. Marais (NITheP and UKZN)

Quantum Networks and Noise: Principles and Simulations J. Prior Universidad Politecnica de Cartagena, Spain and University of Ulm, Germany

Open Quantum Random WalksI. Sinayskiy (NITheP and UKZN)

8. “Synthetic Biology – Engineering with Biology”, R. Sparrow (CSIR, South Africa)

Electron transport in the Respiratory Complex I V. Vedral (National University of Singapore, Singapore; University of Oxford, UK


Please download the detailed program

Workshop Photos:

Workshop photos can be downloaded from here: 1 and 2.


University of KwaZulu-Natal, Westville Campus;

H Block, Physics Seminar Room, 3rd Floor

Application form:

If you would like to participate in a workshop please fill in application form and send it to Ms Nelisiwe Mncube ( before the 30th September 2011.

Financial support:

There will be a limited number of South African students that will be able to receive financial support. If you are interested, please indicate that on the application form.

Please note that due to budgetary limitations, financial support can only be given to South African and African students living in South Africa.

With the registration deadline being the 30th of September, all applicants for Financial Support will be notified of the outcome of their application by the 7th of October 2011.


The conference organizers will contact tour operators to provide excursion to Tala Game Reserve on one of the afternoons (weather permitting). More details on the available options and prices to be made available later.

Photos from conference excursion can be downloaded from web-site of I. Sinayskiy: (Part1 and Part 2).

Tourist attractions:

South Africa is a popular tourist destination, and receives over two and a half million international visitors per year. Information about tourist attractions is available at and similar websites. A number of good travel guide books are also available.