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Howard University has been putting the focus on empowering the next generation of leaders in STEM and the Washington, D.C.-based institution will be able to further its efforts thanks to a major donation. The university recently received a $550,000 grant from The Guy Foundation.

The foundation, which is based in the UK, provides funding for an array of STEM-focused research projects; including ones that are centered on quantum biology and bioenergetics. The Howard University donation will go towards the school’s Quantum Biology Laboratory (QBL) which is led by Founding Director Philip Kurian. The lab, which has grown to prominence since its inception, has collaborated with researchers around the globe for projects focused on quantum systems. It is slated to be the first group to “experimentally demonstrate cooperative quantum phenomena in tubulin protein architectures.” The grant will support the evolution of research on electrodynamics, biosystems and quantum theory. The donation was a historic move for the foundation as it marks the first time that it has awarded a grant to an institution outside of the UK.

Dana A. Williams, who serves as interim dean of the Graduate School at Howard University, says the donation from The Guy Foundation will be instrumental in elevating the institution’s scientific research efforts. “The Quantum Biology Lab is a wonderful example of what happens when researchers are free to collaborate and to think within and beyond their specific disciplines,” she said in a statement. “As a research professor in the Graduate School, Dr. Kurian continues to bring exciting projects to Howard while also sharing with the world research that is informed by Howard’s uniqueness. I look forward to seeing how this award will continue to advance groundbreaking research Dr. Kurian and his team will initiate at Howard.”

Earlier this year, Howard University received $10 million to benefit a program designed to expose youth to career paths in STEM.

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