Erik Kirakosyan

Project Title: Biophysics & Quantum Biology

Project Description: The notion of quantum physical effects in biology has been contemplated since Schrödinger’s “What is Life” in 1944. Nonetheless, the theory has only gained momentum over the past two decades. Recent laboratory findings include proton tunneling in DNA tautomers, free radical coupled magnetoreception in the European Robin, and protection from oxidative damage in photosynthesis. By viewing the established science of classical biophysics with a new quantum lens, we can reform our understanding of biological processes. Throughout my studies, I will take courses in biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, and computer science. My ultimate goal is to establish a strong understanding of biophysics through research in electron transfer, while using recent literature to study advances in quantum biology.

Most Important Accomplishment: Without a doubt, my most important accomplishment was becoming a certified EMT and working with an ambulance company. There is no skill more valuable than knowing how to help someone during an emergency, and I cherish the opportunity to enter medicine at such a young age. My experience in EMS has completely changed my outlook on life, and I would recommend it to any college student.

Reflections on the College Scholar Program: Throughout my freshman year, I despised the fact that the sciences were separated into rigid fields. Every core science course was interconnected in both topics and applications, and choosing a single major was a boundary on my education. Through the College Scholar program, I have the freedom to explore courses in all of these areas simultaneously and combine them through a single research project. Additionally, the opportunity to start work in quantum biology as an undergraduate is truly extraordinary. No university has an undergraduate major or departments dedicated to quantum biology. Thus, I truly am entering at the ground level.