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
2018- Postgraduate Admissions Tutor
2012-2018 Departmental Athena SWAN Coordinator
2007- Lecturer/Senior Lecturer/Reader 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.

interested in our work on vaccine manufacturing?

How fast can we make 8 billion doses of RNA vaccine? What are the necessary resources? Read the latest Public Citizen report co-authored by Dr Zoltan Kis here.

The DELVE report on SARS-CoV-2 vaccine development and implementation is now available online.

You can also read our latest articles on the topic on Imperial's website and in The Engineer. Dr Zoltan Kis has also contributed to articles in Politico, Chemistry World and Wired, the latter focussing on RNA vaccines.

Not a scientist? Have a look at this short video


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January 2021

Collaborative PhD opportunity with GSK: 

Integration of mechanistic and data-driven models to support the transition to continuous biomanufacturing

End-to-end continuous processing is promising to be one of the most significant developments in the space of biologics as it can lead to reduced processing times, reproducible quality and lower manufacturing footprint. Recent studies on CHO cell perfusion systems have already yielded promising results with respect to product quality, including glycosylation, fragmentation and aggregation, for both antibodies and fusion proteins. Given that the past three decades on R&D have focused on fed-batch platform processes, the question becomes how we can harness the knowledge and data already acquired to support this transition from fed-batch to continuous operation. This transition needs to encompass not only key performance indicators, such as productivity, but also quality attributes, e.g. structural product characteristics and the presence of impurities, across monoclonal antibodies and new modalities. To this end, in this project we will develop a combined computational and experimental approach to facilitate knowledge generation and transfer in support of the transition to continuous upstream biomanufacturing.

The project is funded by a BBSRC industrial CASE studentship and covers stipend and tuition fees in full for 4 years starting in October 2021. The position is only available to Home students. Full guidance on eligibility can be found here.

To apply, please send your CV, details of two referees and personal statement to Cleo by January 29. 

DECEmber 2020

Congratulations to Elli Makrydaki for successfully defending her thesis! 

september 2020

Congratulations to Chiara Heide for successfully defending her thesis! 

Selected Publications

Journal Articles

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

Chen N, Koumpouras GC, Polizzi KM, et al., 2012, Genome-based kinetic modeling of cytosolic glucosemetabolism in industrially relevant cell lines -Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Chinese hamsterovary cells, Bioprocess and Biosystems Engineering, Vol:35, 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, Pages:1192-1198

More Publications