Imperial College London

Dr Cleo Kontoravdi

Faculty of EngineeringDepartment of Chemical Engineering

Reader in Biosystems Engineering



+44 (0)20 7594 6655cleo.kontoravdi98 Website




516ACE ExtensionSouth Kensington Campus






Date Role
2012- Departmental Athena SWAN Coordinator
2007- Lecturer in Chemical Engineering (Lonza/RCUK Academic Fellowship)
2006-2007 Research and Development Scientist, Lonza Biologics
2007 PhD in Chemical Engineering, Imperial College London.
An Integrated Modelling/Experimental Framework for Protein-producing Animal Cell Cultures.
2002 MEng in Chemical Engineering, Imperial College London 

Research Interests

My interests lie in the area of biotechnology, with particular focus on the application of systems engineering principles to bioprocessing. My research involves the systematic integration of model-based tools, such as sensitivity analysis, design of experiments and optimisation, with experimentation on mammalian cell culture systems. Topics of interest include optimisation of culture media and conditions productivity, protein glycosylation, metabolic flux analysis and multiscale modelling.

Not a scientist? Have a look at this short video.


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To apply for PhD positions please contact me by email.



Phd studentship in collaboration with dr alex kiparissides at ucl

A fully funded PhD studentship in Bioprocessing is available for October 2017. Applicants must be UK or EU citizens. To apply, please send your CV and cover letter to Cleo.

Title: Model-driven optimisation of bioprocess design

Summary: Professional secretor animal cells are nowadays selected to fit platform processes for antibody production, followed by a round(s) of empirical process optimisation that results in a set of operating set points. Any deviation from these set points results in extensive additional product testing, which is both expensive and time-consuming. In this project we propose a radical change to the design of bioprocesses: we will use computational approaches to explore the input space and identify ranges of conditions that satisfy production and quality criteria. We will then show experimentally that this approach can cut the process development time and increase the flexibility of the operating envelope, thus resulting in significant savings in manufacturing.

the watson forum

Watch Cleo's interview here.  

June 2015

Congratulations to Cher Goey who won the 2nd poster prize at the ESACT 2015 Meeting in Barcelona!


To Susie Sou who won the best Early Career Researcher presentation award at the 2015 ESACT-UK meeting.

SusieScience museum late 2014

The Science Museum Late in BioRevolution took place on February 26th. We were hosting ‘The Icing on the Cake’ which is all about the intricate patterns of sugars which coat modern therapeutic drugs. 





Courtesy of Thomas S. G. Farnetti/Wellcome Images and Barry MacDonald @ Science Museum




From our test run at the Wellcome Trust



The sugar structure of an antibody made of midget gems

Selected Publications

Journal Articles

del Val IJ, Kyriakopoulos S, Polizzi KM, et al., 2013, An optimized method for extraction and quantification of nucleotides and nucleotide sugars from mammalian cells, Analytical Biochemistry, Vol:443, ISSN:0003-2697, Pages:172-180

Chen N, Koumpouras GC, Polizzi KM, et al., 2012, Genome-based kinetic modeling of cytosolic glucose metabolism in industrially relevant cell lines: Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Chinese hamster ovary cells, Bioprocess and Biosystems Engineering, Vol:35, ISSN:1615-7591, Pages:1023-1033

Kontoravdi C, Pistikopoulos EN, Mantalaris A, 2010, Systematic development of predictive mathematical models for animal cell cultures, Computers & Chemical Engineering, Vol:34, ISSN:0098-1354, Pages:1192-1198

More Publications