Control Theory and Systems Biology

Control Theory and Systems Biology

Edited by Pablo A. Iglesias and Brian P. Ingalls

A survey of how engineering techniques from control and systems theory can be used to help biologists understand the behavior of cellular systems.





A survey of how engineering techniques from control and systems theory can be used to help biologists understand the behavior of cellular systems.

Issues of regulation and control are central to the study of biological and biochemical systems. Thus it is not surprising that the tools of feedback control theory—engineering techniques developed to design and analyze self-regulating systems—have proven useful in the study of these biological mechanisms. Such interdisciplinary work requires knowledge of the results, tools and techniques of another discipline, as well as an understanding of the culture of an unfamiliar research community. This volume attempts to bridge the gap between disciplines by presenting applications of systems and control theory to cell biology that range from surveys of established material to descriptions of new developments in the field. The first chapter offers a primer on concepts from dynamical systems and control theory, which allows the life scientist with no background in control theory to understand the concepts presented in the rest of the book. Following the introduction of ordinary differential equation-based modeling in the first chapter, the second and third chapters discuss alternative modeling frameworks. The remaining chapters sample a variety of applications, considering such topics as quantitative measures of dynamic behavior, modularity, stoichiometry, robust control techniques, and network identification.

ContributorsDavid Angeli, Declan G. Bates, Eric Bullinger, Peter S. Chang, Domitilla Del Vecchio, Francis J. Doyle III, Hana El-Samad, Dirk Fey, Rolf Findeisen, Simone Frey, Jorge Gonçalves, Pablo A. Iglesias, Brian P. Ingalls, Elling W. Jacobsen, Mustafa Khammash, Jongrae Kim, Eric Klavins, Eric C. Kwei, Thomas Millat, Jason E. Shoemaker, Eduardo D. Sontag, Stephanie R. Taylor, David Thorsley, Camilla Trané, Sean Warnick, Olaf Wolkenhauer


Out of Print ISBN: 9780262013345 358 pp. | 7 in x 9 in 138 b&w illus., 7 tables


$35.00 X ISBN: 9780262529235 358 pp. | 7 in x 9 in 138 b&w illus., 7 tables


Pablo A. Iglesias

Pablo A. Iglesias is Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Applied Mathematics and Statistics, and Biomedical Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.

Brian P. Ingalls

Brian P. Ingalls is Associate Professor in the Departments of Applied Mathematics, Biology, and Chemical Engineering at the University of Waterloo, Canada. He is the coeditor of Control Theory and Systems Biology (MIT Press, 2010).


  • [A]n important contribution to systems biology...This volume will be very useful to researchers in bioinformatics, mathematics, as well as biology as it addresses a highly interdisciplinary area.

    The Quarterly Review of Biology


  • Historically, control theory has its roots in the analysis and understanding of physical and technological systems. However, in recent times it has revealed its wider potential as a tool for describing the complex dynamical behavior of living things. This valuable book is therefore timely, since it places control theory where it belongs—at the heart of our search for the principles by which living systems operate.

    Peter Wellstead

    Science Foundation Ireland Research Professor of Systems Biology, Hamilton Institute, National University of Ireland

  • A landmark in bringing rigor and relevance to theory for systems biology.

    John C. Doyle

    Professor of Control and Dynamical Systems and Electrical Engineering, Caltech