Texas A&M University at College station recently received a major influx of new life science funding for multidisciplinary quantum biophotonics research. The University was awarded $10.8 million from the Texas A&M University System. This new life science research funding will primarily be used to purchase new biophotonics laboratory equipment.
The grant was awarded to the Institute for Quantum Science and Engineering (IQSE), which applies the perspective of biophotonics to a diverse range of research topics such as cancer detection or agricultural science. The research direction of biophotonics aims to bring together photonics and biology. Using advanced laser technology, biophotonics pursues insights into biological functions through studying the quantum units of light called photons.
Texas A&M quantum physicist Marlan Scully, director of the Institute for Quantum Science and Engineering, summed up the significance of the grant from the Texas A&M University System: "Our group is world-renowned, but we don't yet have world-class facilities. We're coming along nicely, but we really needed a shot in the arm, and Chancellor John Sharp has given us that. We're going to be bringing in world-renowned scientists and connecting them with these global problems."
The new life science funding will be used by IQSE to build a Raman spectrometer for the purposes of cancer detection and other applications. The grant will also be used to recruit new interdisciplinary and well renowned researchers as faculty members. Wolfgang Schleich, from the University of Ulm theoretical physics department and is a member of the prestigious Austrian Academy of Sciences, along with Roy Glauber, a professor from Harvard University who was awarded the 2005 Nobel Prize in Physics, have already been recruited by the program. These internationally renowned scientists are now 2013-14 fellows of the Texas A&M Institute for Advanced Study (TIAS).
Texas A&M University
Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Marlan Scully identified the new research conducted by IQSE as an excellent example of the burgeoning "One Health" movement at Texas A&M University. The "One Health" movement takes an interdisciplinary lens and approach to administering the health of animals, plants, humans and their environment. In order to accomplish this goal, Texas A&M has made major strides in bringing together researchers from multiple departments for interdisciplinary collaboration. Specifically, the Institute for Quantum Science and Engineering merges the work of scientists from fields as diverse as science, liberal arts, engineering, agriculture, veterinary medicine and biomedical sciences.
The overall life science research funding for the Institute for Quantum Science and Engineering comes the Chancellor's Research Initiative (CRI). This institute extends one time funding opportunities to Texas A&M University, as well as Prairie View A&M University, for recruitment of rockstar faculty members. This program is especially geared toward hiring scientists who have a history of creating robust federally funded research programs. This initiative has been allocated $33 million in annual funds from the Available University Fund.
Some of the immediate research goals of the Institute for Quantum Science and Engineering include:
- Using cutting edge laser technology such as the Raman spectroscopy device to improve cancer detection techniques.
- Develop new technology for biological and chemical sensing. A technology that would have direct real world applications in areas from drug detection to agriculture.
- Develop techniques that would employ laser technologies to detect crop infection by fungus or other pathogens. This technology has previously been used by IQSE to detect gases and pathogens in the atmosphere.
- Use similar technology to detect anthrax and other dangerous chemicals before they have a chance to cause harm.
The recent life science funding from the Texas A&M University will significantly advance these, and many other, important cutting-edge research projects. This grant is one of the many aspects of the exciting and collaborative research culture at Texas A&M, College Station.
Biotechnology Calendar, Inc. is a full-service science research marketing and events-planning company that organizes life science marketing events at top research institutions across the country. If you are interested in networking with researchers and marketing your lab equipment at life science marketing events closer to home, we encourage you to view our 2014 calendar of events. For more Texas A&M University life science funding statistics, or to learn more about the College Station BioResearch Product Faire™ Event, click on the button below.