Imperial College London


Faculty of MedicineDepartment of Infectious Disease

Research Associate



+44 (0)20 7594 3058r.kelwick Website




Sir Alexander Fleming BuildingSouth Kensington Campus





Dr Richard Kelwick is an Royal Society of Edinburgh Enterprise Fellow and an entrepreneurially driven researcher, at Imperial College London, with expertise in both cancer biology and synthetic biology.

Dr Kelwick has a Ph.D. in cancer biology (Prof. Dylan Edwards group, UEA), during which he researched the protective roles of metalloproteinases in cancer. His research led to mechanistic insights into the protective roles of a disintegrin-like and metalloprotease with thrombospondin type motif 15 (ADAMTS15) in breast cancer. Upon moving to Imperial in 2013, Dr Kelwick joined Prof. Paul Freemont’s group (ICL DoM, Section of Structural Biology) where he developed expertise in cell-free synthetic biology. In particular, he generated several microbial and mammalian cell-free transcription-translation systems for cell-free biologics and biomaterials production. Moving forward, Dr Kelwick aims to apply his expertise in both cancer biology and synthetic biology towards understanding different aspects of exosome biology.

>Successfully raised funding: SynbiCITE PoC (2015) and Imperial Confidence in Concept Award (2018)

>Successful entries in several business competitions (e.g. Techcelerate 2018, OneStart 2016 and Lean Launchpad 2015 with Steve Blank and Jerome Engel). Also, founding president of the UEA Enterprise and Engagement Club [2010 - 2012].

>Author of over 10 peer reviewed publications that span my research interests in synthetic biology and cancer biology.

>External speaker at University of Cambridge, University of Oxford, several Kenyan research institutions, and at national and international scientific conferences (e.g. IET 2016, ECCSB 2017 – Switzerland).

>A passion for science communication and public engagement. Interviewed on Persian TV (Manoto 1). Organised/or and supported events in the Science Museum, V&A museum, Tate Modern, Google London Campus, the Imperial Festival [2016; 2017] and at Harris City Academy Crystal Palace.

Selected Publications

Journal Articles

Kelwick RJR, Ricci L, Chee SM, et al., 2019, Cell-free prototyping strategies for enhancing the sustainable production of polyhydroxyalkanoates bioplastics, Synthetic Biology, Vol:3, ISSN:2397-7000

Kelwick RJR, Webb AJ, MacDonald JT, et al., 2016, Development of a Bacillus subtilis cell-free transcription-translation system for prototyping regulatory elements, Metabolic Engineering, Vol:38, ISSN:1096-7184, Pages:370-381

Webb AJ, Kelwick R, Doenhoff MJ, et al., 2016, A protease-based biosensor for the detection of schistosome cercariae, Scientific Reports, Vol:6, ISSN:2045-2322

Kelwick R, Bowater L, Yeoman KH, et al., 2015, Promoting microbiology education through the iGEM synthetic biology competition, FEMS Microbiology Letters, Vol:362, ISSN:0378-1097

Kelwick R, Desanlis I, Wheeler GN, et al., 2015, The ADAMTS (A Disintegrin and Metalloproteinase with Thrombospondin motifs) family., Genome Biology, Vol:16, ISSN:1474-760X, Pages:113-113

Kelwick R, Kopniczky M, Bower I, et al., 2015, A Forward-Design Approach to Increase the Production of Poly-3-Hydroxybutyrate in Genetically Engineered Escherichia coli, PLOS One, Vol:10, ISSN:1932-6203

Kelwick R, Wagstaff L, Decock J, et al., 2015, Metalloproteinase-Dependent and -Independent processes contribute to inhibition of breast cancer cell migration, angiogenesis and liver metastasis by a disintegrin and metalloproteinase with thrombospondin motifs-15, International Journal of Cancer, Vol:136, ISSN:0020-7136, Pages:E14-E26

Kelwick R, MacDonald JT, Webb AJ, et al., 2014, Developments in the Tools and Methodologies of Synthetic Biology, Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology, Vol:2

Wagstaff L, Kelwick R, Decock J, et al., 2011, The roles of ADAMTS metalloproteinases in tumorigenesis and metastasis, Frontiers in Bioscience-Landmark, Vol:16, ISSN:1093-9946, Pages:1861-1872

Wagstaff L, Kelwick R, Decock J, et al., 2010, ADAMTS15 metalloproteinase inhibits breast cancer cell migration, Breast Cancer Research, Vol:12


Webb AJ, Allan F, Kelwick R, et al., 2018, Protease-based bioreporters for the detection of schistosome cercariae, American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (ASTMH) 67th Annual Meeting, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA

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