Prof Alistair Nunn

I am an active theoretician who has worked in academia, the pharmaceutical industry, medical communications, and who now works in a cross-over position between academia and a science foundation. I am widely read, having worked on multiple indications and diseases, in particular cancer, epilepsy, the metabolic syndrome dyslipidaemia, diabetes, and more recently, virology. I have capitalised on this by developing theories based on evolutionary, quantum and thermodynamic principles to explain not only how natural products may be working, but also a possible way of looking at the origins of life and ageing and how this is modulated by lifestyle, and why, for instance, physical activity plays a pivotal role in maintaining optimal health. Of late, I have applied my understanding of mitochondrial function to help explain the pathophysiology of SARs-CoV-2 infection, as well as the emerging pathophenotype that astronauts experience, and the possibility, that like long COVID, they could be experiencing an accelerated ageing syndrome. This background has enabled me to collaborate and discuss ideas with many leading scientists in a variety of disciplines, ranging from the origins of life, mitochondrial function, electromagnetic field- based regeneration, optimal health and ageing, pharmaceuticals as well as quantum biology and its applications, for instance, in how it might help in understanding and treating cancer.  


My original research interest during my PhD was in erythropoietic protoporphyria, and as a post-doc, apoptosis. After a spell in industry and medical communications, I returned to academia to study the bioenergetics of the phytocannabinoids. This was both bench and theoretically based. This led to building a hypothesis on mitochondrial function in relation to optimal health and the role of hormesis, and how understanding the origins of life might be key, especially if the fields of quantum mechanics and thermodynamics were embraced. I then helped set up a Foundation, as its scientific director, to facilitate the exploration of the role of quantum biology in medicine. To this end, I wrote the research outlines, and  haven been overseeing bench work both at the University of Westminster and the Central Laser Facility at Harwell, Oxfordshire, into the interaction of electromagnetic fields/photons with metabolism since 2018. Since, then I have helped set up and oversee several collaborations with other groups working in similar areas, ranging from the study of morphogenetic fields in tissue regeneration, bioenergetics, and possible quantum effects associated with the cytoskeleton. I am now involved in helping to set up collaborations investigating the possibility that long COVID may increase the rate of cancer, as well as discussions around the role of quantum biology both in cancer and in space exploration. 

  • Research Centre for Optimal Health

Sustainable Development Goals
In brief

Research areas

Mitochondria. Quantum biology. Medicine. Phytocannabinoids. Metabolic syndrome. Cancer. Space physiology. Origins of life.

Skills / expertise

Biochemistry, ageing, natural products, pharmaceuticals. quantum biology.