Prof Guy-Bart STAN's research webpage

Who am I? | Selected Publications | Research interests | CV | Group members | Software | Books | Full list of Publications | Lecture Notes | Links to interesting websites | Ph.D. Thesis | Master's Thesis

Guy-Bart Stan

Who am I?

My name is Guy-Bart STAN. I am a permanent academic member of staff in the Department of Bioengineering and the head of the Control Engineering Synthetic Biology group at Imperial College London (U.K.).

I am a Royal Academy of Engineering Chair in Emerging Technologies, Co-Director of the Imperial College Centre for Synthetic Biology, and Deputy Director of the EPSRC-funded Centre for Doctoral Training in BioDesign Engineering. I have been holding a EPSRC Engineering Fellowship for Growth in Synthetic Biology for the period January 2015 - February 2020.

I am also the Lead PI on the UKRI-funded Engineering Biology Transition Award, "Artificial Intelligence for Engineering Biology" Consortium (AI-4-EB). The vision for AI-4-EB is to leverage and combine key enabling technologies in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Engineering Biology (EB) to pioneer a new era of world-leading advances that accelerate learning and design of Engineered Biological Systems. Through the AI-4-EB Consortium, we are building a network of inter-connected and inter-disciplinary researchers to both develop and apply next-generation AI technologies to the design and optimisation of biological systems across scales. Overall, AI-4-EB provides the necessary step-change for the analysis of large and heterogeneous biological data sets, and for AI-based design and optimisation of biological systems with sufficient predictive power to accelerate Engineering Biology.

Complementary to the AI-4-EB Consortium described above, I have also been leading (with Prof Baldwin) a strategic initiative at Imperial College (Imperial-X Life) to develop new AI/machine learning methods and pipelines that are adapted to the challenges of data-based design and optimisation of engineered living cells.

I joined Imperial College in December 2009 as a Lecturer and got promoted to Reader in August 2014, and to full Professor in June 2019. From January 2006 until December 2009, I worked in the Control Group of the University of Cambridge (U.K.) as a Research Associate with support from EPSRC (EP/E02761X/1) for the period January 2007 - January 2010 and support from a European Commission FP6 Marie-Curie Intra-European Fellowship (EU FP6 IEF 025509 GASO) for the period January 2006 - January 2007. From January 2006 until December 2009, I was the weekly seminar organiser for the Cambridge University Control Group. From June to December 2005, I worked as Senior DSP Engineer at Philips Applied Technologies (now Philips Research). I received my electrical engineering degree (with a speciality in electronics) in June 2000 and my Ph.D. degree (in Applied Sciences with a focus on Analysis and Control of Nonlinear Dynamical Systems) in March 2005, both from the University of Liège, Belgium. During my PhD, I mainly worked in the Nonlinear Systems and Control group at the Systems and Modeling research unit of the University of Liège and was supported by a PhD Research Fellowship from the F.N.R.S. (the Belgian National Fund for Scientific Research).

My webpage in the Department of Bioengineering of Imperial College London (U.K.).

For a quick overview of what the Control Engineering Synthetic Biology group is and examples of projects we are working on please have a look at this short introductory brochure.

This 5 min video of a talk I gave at the World Economic Forum Summer Meeting 2015 is also a good introduction to some of the things were are interested in the Control Engineering Synthetic Biology group:

For a longer conversation on the theme of Engineering Biology, please see this video recording of our Critical Conversation on Engineering Biology with Dr Hayaatun Sillem CBE, CEO of the Royal Academy of Engineering.

Selected Publications

Research interests

I am passionate about developing new concepts and methods and applying the produced results to real-life problems. Currently, my main research interests are: Nonlinear Dynamical Systems Analysis and Control, Synthetic Biology, Systems Biology.

I am currently interested in the modelling, analysis, design, control, and implementation of cellular systems (in particular biomolecular feedback systems and gene regulatory networks); and in applications of systems and control engineering methods to the problem of robustly and optimally controlling natural or synthetic biology systems, e.g., robust control of gene regulation networks or optimal drug cocktails scheduling for chronic-like diseases treatments (e.g. cancer and HIV).

Curriculum Vitae

You can download a pdf version of my CV here.

For a citations report of my published papers you can follow this link on Google Scholar Citations or this link on ResearchGate.

Group members

The current list of group members is available at the people section of our group website.

For more information about the various students I have supervised see the Supervisory Experience section of my CV.


As part of our research, we regularly develop software tools. Most of these can be downloaded directly from my group website in the section Research Projects.


Synthetic Biology: a Primer (Revised Edition)

Synthetic Biology: a Primer (Revised Edition), G. Baldwin, T. Bayer, R. Dickinson, T. Ellis, P. Freemont, R. Kitney, K. Polizzi, N. Rose, G.-B. Stan, Imperial College Press, Oct. 2015, ISBN-10: 1783268794, ISBN-13: 978-1783268795.

A Systems Theoretic Approach to Systems and Synthetic Biology I: Models and System Characterizations

A Systems Theoretic Approach to Systems and Synthetic Biology I: Models and System Characterizations, Eds.: V. Kulkarni, G.-B. Stan, K. Raman, Springer, July 2014, ISBN: 978-94-017-9040-6 (Print), 978-94-017-9041-3 (Online). Click here for link.

A Systems Theoretic Approach to Systems and Synthetic Biology II: Analysis and Design of Cellular Systems

A Systems Theoretic Approach to Systems and Synthetic Biology II: Analysis and Design of Cellular Systems, Eds.: V. Kulkarni, G.-B. Stan, K. Raman, Springer, July 2014, ISBN: 978-94-017-9046-8 (Print), 978-94-017-9047-5 (Online). Click here for link.

Full list of Publications
























Internal Reports

  • Comparison of Algorithms for Biological Network Reconstruction from Data, Openwetware webpage of Nuri Purswani as part of her MSc project with me in 2010.
  • Global Analysis of Limit Cycles in the Chua System, Internal report, Cambridge University, UK, April 2006, available upon request.
  • Dissipativity and Global Analysis of Limit Cycles, Internal Report, Montefiore, Ulg, 2004, available upon request.

Lecture Notes

Links to interesting websites

Seminars in the Department of Bioengineering at Imperial College London.

Seminars at the Cambridge University Control Group on

Imperial's 2016 iGEM team - Ecolibrium (Lead Supervisor with Dr Karen Polizzi).

Imperial's 2014 iGEM team - Aqualose (Supervisor on the modelling side of the project).

Imperial's 2013 iGEM team - Plasticity (Supervisor on the modelling side of the project).

Imperial's 2011 iGEM team - Auxin (Supervisor on the modelling side of the project).

Imperial's 2010 iGEM team - Parasight (Supervisor on the modelling side of the project).

PhD Thesis

The title of my PhD thesis is Global analysis and synthesis of oscillations: a dissipativity approach.


The main theme of this research concerns the global (as opposed to local) analysis and synthesis of stable limit cycle oscillations in dynamical systems. The global analysis of oscillations in systems and networks of interconnected systems is a longstanding problem. Dynamical systems that exhibit robust nonlinear oscillations are called oscillators. Oscillators are ubiquitous in physical, biological, biochemical, and electromechanical systems. Detailed models of oscillators abound in the literature, most frequently in the form of a set of nonlinear differential equations whose solutions robustly converge to a limit cycle oscillation. Local stability analysis is possible by means of Floquet theory but global stability analysis is usually restricted to simple (second order) models. For these simple models, global analysis is performed by using specific low dimensional tools (phase plane methods, Poincaré-Bendixson theorem, etc.) which do not generalise easily to complex (high dimensional) models. As a consequence, global analysis of complex models is quite difficult since there currently exists no general analysis method. This lack of general analysis methods typically forces complex models of oscillators to be studied only through numerical simulation methods. Although numerical simulations of these models may give a first insight into their behaviour, a more in-depth understanding is generally impeded by the complexity of the models and the challenge of rigorous global stability analysis. Moreover, even in the case of simple models, the low dimensional methods used for their analysis do not generalise to the analysis of a network of interconnected oscillators. These considerations show the need for developing general methods that allow the global analysis of oscillators, either isolated or in interconnection. This thesis constitutes the first step towards the development of such a unified oscillators theory. In this aim, this thesis considers an extension of the dissipativity theory introduced by Willems. Nowadays, dissipativity is considered as one of the most general nonlinear (global) stability analysis method for equilibrium points in dynamical systems and networks of interconnected dynamical systems. In this thesis, we show that dissipativity theory can be extended to allow (global) stability analysis of limit cycles in many Lure-type models of oscillators and networks of oscillators. These Lure-type models of oscillators have been named passive oscillators. As the main contributions of this research, we show the implications of this extended dissipativity theory for

  • the global stability analysis of isolated passive oscillators
  • the global stability analysis of networks of passive oscillators
  • the global stability analysis of synchronised oscillations in networks of identical passive oscillators

Furthermore, based on these results, we also propose a limit cycle oscillations synthesis method based on the design of a nonlinear parametric proportional-integral controller aimed at the generation of limit cycle oscillations with large basins of attraction in stabilisable nonlinear systems.

You can download here a summary of my (PhD) F.N.R.S. research project Research.pdf (in french).

Masters Thesis

The translated title of my master thesis is Creation of an autonomous impulse response measurement system for rooms and transducers with different methods - "Réalisation d'une chaine de mesure autonome de la réponse impulsionnelle de salle selon différentes méthodes" (the manuscript is in french).


In this thesis, we compare four of the most used impulse response measurement techniques: Maximum Length Sequence (MLS), Inverse Repeated Sequence (IRS), Time Stretched Pulses, and Logarithmic Sinesweep. These methods are generally used for the measurement of the impulse response of acoustical systems such as transducers, rooms, and binaural impulse responses. The choice of one of these methods depending on the measurement conditions is critical. Therefore an extensive comparison has been realised. This comparison has been done through the implementation and realisation of a complete, fast, reliable, and cheap measurement system. In particular, these different methods have been compared with respect to best achievable signal-to-noise ratio, ease of use, harmonic distortion rejection/measurement, and robustness to measurement conditions (temperature change, impulsive and white noise, etc.). It is shown that in the presence of non white noise, the MLS and IRS techniques are more appropriate. On the contrary, in quiet environments the Logarithmic Sinesweep method is the most accurate: it allows for a direct improvement of the signal-to-noise ratio of up to 30 dB over the other methods, which can be critical for audio virtual reality systems such as auralization systems. Indeed, capturing binaural room impulse responses for high-quality auralization purposes requires a signal-to-noise ratio of more than 90 dB which is unattainable with other measurement techniques due to inherent nonlinearities in the measurement system (especially the loudspeaker), but fairly easy to reach with logarithmic sinesweeps due to the possibility of completely rejecting (and measuring) harmonic distortions. As a consequence, the sinesweep method opens the way for the development of high-quality auralization and sound spatialisation systems, which constitute the basis for advanced audio virtual reality systems.

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