(6o) Life Science Systems Engineering

Papathanasiou, M. M., Imperial College London
Research Interests:

Throughout my academic journey so far, I have been focusing on the development and application of Process Systems Engineering (PSE) methods to various topics in the Life Sciences.

Namely, during my MSc research project I developed a high-fidelity mathematical model to describe the events that took place during the clinical trial of TGN1214 mAb. Although, due to confidentiality hurdles, this work has not been published yet, as part of my MSc thesis, I developed a full scale mathematical model describing the functions of human cell and cytokine subsets both in homeostasis, as well as under sudden events. The model was validated against patient data and can be used to assist the development of novel immunotherapies and test their effect in silico prior to administration. Following that, my PhD research focused on the design of in-silico tools for the design and testing of continuous processing in monoclonal antibody production. Within this study, a mammalian cell culture in a bioreactor and a multi-column, chromatographic separation process were modelled, validated and simulated, aiming to explore the potential for process intensification. In addition, novel control strategies were designed for both systems and tested against experimentally optimal profiles. Lastly, I am currently investigating the development of novel supply chain and manufacturing concepts/routes in cancer immunotherapies. The project brings together knowledge stemming from product manufacturing, regulatory environment and techno-economic optimization, with end-goal to provide novel solutions for affordable therapies with decreased manufacturing and delivery times.

Based on my research background and scientific interests, I am envisioning the initiation of a research group that incorporates three research strands: (1) computational tools for life science engineering, (2) supply chain optimization in life sciences and (3) design, testing and distribution of mathematical tools that will assist the development of novel, sustainable solutions. I am suggesting the development, testing and distribution of mathematical tools and scientific frameworks targeted to: (1) the development & delivery of frameworks for robust model development, (2) models & algorithms testing on “real-world” case studies and (3) the creation of a model library focused on life-science engineering. For the “real-world” cases studies, priority will be given to sectors such as: (1) pharmaceutical product and process development and (2) food engineering and manufacturing. The models and/or procedures will be looking into process dynamics, as well as the underlying supply chain models of the relevant industry. During these years, I have built a strong and international network in both academia and industry that will allow me to establish meaningful cross-departmental/-organizational collaborations to support and advance my research objectives.

Teaching Interests:

My teaching experience spans a wide range of populations both in the European and the American academic environment. I have spent significant time, teaching at final year undergraduate and MSc students at Imperial College London, MSc & PhD students at Texas A&M University, as well as PhD students at the Technical University of Denmark. These experiences have trained me to efficiently deliver lectures to a highly competitive and demanding audience, of exceptional technical background. Moreover, given the diversity in the student level (from final year undergraduate to PhD), I have learned how to adapt course material based on the class needs and expectations. I managed to successfully design course and tutorial plans and assign tasks to fellow colleagues who were also assisting with the courses. I have a reputation for being especially organized and well-planned. Moreover, I have been in charge for the development of lecture notes, tutorials, exercise sets and course projects, as well as the coordination of office hours and student assistance.

I can teach subjects related to Process Modelling & Optimization of Biological, Biopharmaceutical and Pharmaceutical Systems, Pharmaceutical Process Development.