Biological Control Systems Lab

Department of Bioengineering
Imperial College London

Tanaka group

Modelling allows us to extract common design principles in diverse biological systems across different temporal and spatial scales. Our group develops mathematical models for various biological systems ranging from cellular to behavioural levels and reveals key mechanisms for efficient, flexible and robust biological control across different levels.

We aim to establish a theoretical basis for biological control, to reinterpret the various phenomena in biological systems from the viewpoint of control, and to reveal the sophisticated design principles that are responsible for the plasticity of biological systems. Since the ability of biological control systems far exceeds that of many conventionally designed engineering systems, intrinsic understanding of the essential design principles of biological control systems may require new notions and a new theory for biological control.

One of the main application areas of our interest is healthcare. Most diseases are caused by malfunctioning of intrinsic dynamical regulatory mechanisms across cellular, organ, and behavioural levels. We aim to develop methodologies to understand the original regulatory mechanisms in non-disease states, analyse and predict dynamical systems behaviour in disease states, and use them for accurate assessment and effective treatment. Our research also aims to elucidate common features of biological regulatory mechanisms using tools from engineering discipline and apply them for the design of biologically inspired control structures.

Current research

Current members

Reiko Tanaka


Alejandro Granados


Mark van Logtestijn


Scott Lovell

PhD student

Harley Day

PhD student

Guillem Hurault

Research assistant


PhD student

Anastasia Giannari

MEng student

Joshua Moh

MEng student

Demetris Nicolaides

BEng student

Runze Xu

MRes student

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