Eduardo Sontag

University Distinguished Professor,  Electrical and Computer Engineering
University Distinguished Professor,  Bioengineering
Affiliated Faculty,  Chemical Engineering


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Research Focus

Feedback control theory, systems biology, cancer, and biomedicine


  • PhD, University of Florida, 1977

Honors & Awards

  • IEEE Control Systems Field Award
  • IFAC Fellow
  • AMS Fellow
  • SIAM Fellow
  • IEEE Fellow
  • Reid Prize in Applied Mathematics, SIAM
  • Bode Prize, IEEE

Research Overview

Feedback control theory, systems biology, cancer, and biomedicine

Sontag Lab

Our interests cover a wide variety of areas, including: systems and synthetic biology, modeling in cancer and immunology, feedback control and dynamical systems, computational complexity and theory of computing, drug combinations and resistance.

Sontag Lab

Selected Research Projects

College Research Initiatives

Selected Publications

  • Chen, Tianchi, Ali Al-Radhawi, M., Sontag, Eduardo D. (2021). A mathematical model exhibiting the effect of DNA methylation on the stability boundary in cell-fate networks. Epigenetics, 16(4),436-457. 10.1080/15592294.2020.1805686
  • Hernandez-Vargas, Esteban A., Giordano, Giulia, Sontag, Eduardo, Chase, J. Geoffrey, Chang, Hyeygjeon, Astolfi, Alessandro (2021). Second special section on systems and control research efforts against COVID-19 and future pandemics. Annual Reviews in Control, 51,424-425. 10.1016/J.ARCONTROL.2021.04.005
  • Miller, Jared, Al-Radhawi, M. Ali, Sontag, Eduardo D. (2021). Mediating Ribosomal Competition by Splitting Pools. IEEE Control Systems Letters, 5(5),1555-1560. 10.1109/LCSYS.2020.3041213
  • Sadeghi, Mahdiar, Greene, James M., Sontag, Eduardo D. (2021). Universal features of epidemic models under social distancing guidelines. Annual Reviews in Control, 51,426-440. 10.1016/J.ARCONTROL.2021.04.004
  • A.P. Tran, M. Ali Al-Radhawi, I. Kareva, J. Wu, D.J. Waxman, E.D. Sontag, Delicate Balances in Cancer Chemotherapy: Modeling Immune Recruitment and Emergence of Systemic Drug Resistance, Frontiers in Immunology, 12(12), 2020,874891
  • J. Greene, C. Sanchez-Tapia, E.D. Sontag Mathematical Details on a Cancer Resistance Model, Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology, 2020
  • J.M. Greene, J.L. Gevertz, E.D. Sontag, A Mathematical Approach to Distinguish Spontaneous from Induced Evolution of Drug Resistance during Cancer Treatment, JCO Clinical Cancer Informatics, 3, 2019, 1-20
  • D.K. Agrawal, R. Marshall, V. Noireaux, E.D. Sontag, In Vitro Implementation of Robust Gene Regulation in a Synthetic Biomolecular Integral Controller, Nature Communications, 10, 2019, 1-12
  • E.V. Nikolaev, A. Zloza, E.D. Sontag Immunobiochemical Reconstruction of Influenza Lung Infection -Melanoma Skin Cancer Interactions, Frontiers in Immunology, 10, 2019, 4
  • M.A. Al-Radhawi, D. Del Vecchio, E.D. Sontag, Multi-Modality in Gene Regulatory Networks with Slow Gene Binding, PLoS Computational Biology, 15, 2019, e1006784


Dec 23, 2021

COE Professors Selected in Stanford University List of Top 2% Scientists Worldwide

The following COE professors are among the top scientists worldwide selected by Stanford University representing the top 2 percent of the most-cited scientists with single-year impact in various disciplines. The selection is based on the top 100,000 by c-score (with and without self-citations) or a percentile rank of 2% or above. The list below includes […]

Eduardo Sontag


Jul 20, 2021

Investigating the Dynamics of Biochemical Systems

University Distinguished Professor Eduardo Sontag, ECE/BioE, is the PI of a $305K NSF grant for designing “New Techniques for Analyzing the Long-term Behavior of Intracellular Networks.” The project aims to develop an approach to the computer-aided analysis of biochemical networks and is based on research done in the Sontag Lab by Senior Research Scientist Muhammad Ali Al-Radhawi.

Eduardo Sontag


Jul 09, 2021

Investigating Feedback Systems in Nature and Engineering

University Distinguished Professor Eduardo Sontag, electrical and computer engineering (ECE), jointly appointed in bioengineering, and affiliate faculty in chemical engineering and mathematics, was awarded a $750K grant from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, titled “Network Motifs and Responses of Nonlinear Systems.”

mario Sznaier portrait


Jul 02, 2021

Team Led by Sznaier Awarded $7.5M by DoD for Control and Learning Enabled Verifiably Robust AI

Mario Sznaier, Dennis Picard Trustee Professor, electrical and computer engineering (ECE), is leading a multi-university team that was awarded a $7.5 million, five-year grant from the Department of Defense (DoD).

Eduardo Sontag


May 20, 2020

Eduardo Sontag Gave Keynote Talk at 2020 European Control Conference

ECE/BioE Professor Eduardo Sontag gave the opening keynote talk on “Some Control Theory Ideas in Systems and Synthetic Biology” virtually at the 2020 European Control Conference at St Petersburg, Russia.

Eduardo Sontag


Jan 13, 2020

In Vitro Implementation of Robust Gene Regulation in a Synthetic Biomolecular Integral Controller

ECE/BioE Professor Eduardo Sontag’s research on “in vitro implementation of robust gene regulation in a synthetic biomolecular integral controller” was published in Nature Communications.


Feb 19, 2019

Research from Univ. Dist. Prof. Eduardo Sontag published in PLOS Computational Biology

BioE University Distinguished Professor Eduardo Sontag’s research has been published in Public Library of Science (PLOS) Computational Biology, a non-profit, peer-reviewed journal, entitled “Multi-modality in gene regulatory networks with slow promoter kinetics”.


Jan 29, 2019

Research from Univ. Dist. Prof. Eduardo Sontag published in Frontiers in Immunobiology

BioE University Distinguished Professor Eduardo Sontag’s research entitled “Immunobiochemical Reconstruction of Influenza Lung Infection—Melanoma Skin Cancer Interactions” has been published in Frontiers in Immunology, a leading journal in its field.


Jul 17, 2018

Sontag to Work in Collaboration on $1.5M NSF/SRC Grant

ECE/BioE Professor Eduardo Sontag, in collaboration with Dr. Chris Voigt from MIT and Dr. Kate Adamala from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, was awarded a $1.5M three-year grant jointly funded from the National Science Foundation and Semiconductor Research Corporation for “Very Large-Scale Genetic Circuit Design Automation”.


Mar 28, 2018

Novel Synthetic Biology Technique Could Lead to Breakthroughs in Disease Treatment

University Distinguished Professor Eduardo Sontag developed a new technique that would give researchers the ability to control the behavior of engineered cells.

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