Kavli Institute For Theoretical Physics
The KITP Public Lecture Series

The Renaissance of Quantum Biology

sponsored by Friends of KITP

Professor Whaley's research lies at the interfaces of chemistry with physics and with biology. Her work focuses broadly on quantum information and quantum computation, control and simulation of complex quantum systems, and quantum effects in biological systems. Her recent research in quantum biology seeks to characterize and understand the role of quantum dynamical effects in biological systems, with a perspective that combines physical intuition and detailed quantum simulation with insights from various branches of quantum science – quantum physics, molecular quantum mechanics and quantum information.

About the Speaker

Whaley is a Professor of Chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley and a senior faculty scientist in the Division of Chemical Sciences at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. At UC Berkeley, she is the Director of the Berkeley Quantum Information and Computation Center, a member of the executive board for the Center for Quantum Coherent Science, and a member of the Kavli Energy Nanosciences Institute.

Professor Whaley completed her undergraduate studies at Oxford University, was a Harvard Kennedy Fellow, and earned her Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. After a year as a Golda Meir Fellow at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem and a Postdoctoral Fellowship at Tel Aviv University, she joined the faculty at Berkeley.

Whaley has been recognized with many awards for her scientific contributions in the course of her career. She was elected Fellow of the American Physical Society in 2002, to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2018 and to the International Academy of Quantum Molecular Science in 2019. She served on the KITP Advisory Board from 2014-2018, chairing this in her last year. In October 2019, Whaley was appointed to the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology.