A new National Science Foundation grant will fund a research partnership between the Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering (PME) at the University of Chicago and industry that will combine quantum engineering with life sciences to work toward game-changing medical technologies.

The $1 million grant, part of NSF’s Convergence Accelerator program, will provide funding to Asst. Prof. Peter Maurer to work with SomaLogic on next-generation proteomics devices.

Proteomics, the study of how proteins are expressed in the body, has the potential to predict, diagnose, and monitor disease within the body. If genetic sequencing provides a blueprint of what might happen within the body over a lifetime, proteomics provides a snapshot of what is happening within the body at a single point in time.

Genetic sequencing, for example, might provide the likelihood that someone will suffer from a heart attack in their lifetime, while proteomics could provide the likelihood that someone will suffer a heart attack within the next few hours.

SomaLogic has commercialized an assay that quantifies more than 7,000 proteins in blood or urine, which it can then translate into personal health information, such as the risk of a cardiovascular event. Quantum biosensing could provide a way to scale that process up to billions of measurements per year.

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