Imperial College London

Professor Cleo Kontoravdi

Faculty of EngineeringDepartment of Chemical Engineering

Professor of Biological Systems Engineering



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




310ACE ExtensionSouth Kensington Campus






Date Role
2021- Director of Postgraduate Studies
2018-2021 Postgraduate Admissions Tutor
2012-2018 Departmental Athena SWAN Coordinator
2007-2021 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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  • New PhD opportunity on modelling microbial communities in collaboration with Dr Samraat Pawar and Dr Rodrigo Ledesma-Amaro. Full details on the project and how to apply can be found here
  • Read our latest evaluation of viral vector and RNA vaccine manufacturing platforms here.
  • Together with the group of Dr Ioscani Jimenez del Val at University College Dublin, we have developed CHOmpact, a small-scale stoichiometric model of CHO cell metabolism accompanied by novel flux balance solution methodologies. CHOmpact can accurately describe all cell culture phases and offers enhanced interpretability of results. The preprint is available here.
  • Our work on hybrid data-driven/mechanistic modelling of Bioprocesses is featured in Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News.

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