Biology and medicine in the landscape of quantum advantages

Benjamin A. Cordier, Nicolas P.D. Sawaya, Gian Giacomo Guerreschi, Shannon K. Mcweeney

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    12 Scopus citations


    Quantum computing holds substantial potential for applications in biology and medicine, spanning from the simulation of biomolecules to machine learning methods for subtyping cancers on the basis of clinical features. This potential is encapsulated by the concept of a quantum advantage, which is contingent on a reduction in the consumption of a computational resource, such as time, space or data. Here, we distill the concept of a quantum advantage into a simple framework to aid researchers in biology and medicine pursuing the development of quantum applications. We then apply this framework to a wide variety of computational problems relevant to these domains in an effort to (i) assess the potential of practical advantages in specific application areas and (ii) identify gaps that may be addressed with novel quantum approaches. In doing so, we provide an extensive survey of the intersection of biology and medicine with the current landscape of quantum algorithms and their potential advantages. While we endeavour to identify specific computational problems that may admit practical advantages throughout this work, the rapid pace of change in the fields of quantum computing, classical algorithms and biological research implies that this intersection will remain highly dynamic for the foreseeable future.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Article number20220541
    JournalJournal of the Royal Society Interface
    Issue number196
    StatePublished - Nov 30 2022


    • bioinformatics
    • computational biology
    • medicine
    • quantum advantage
    • quantum computing

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Biotechnology
    • Biophysics
    • Bioengineering
    • Biomaterials
    • Biochemistry
    • Biomedical Engineering


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