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 a senior research associate and former Royal Society of Edinburgh Enterprise Fellow with research interests in synthetic biology, cell-free gene expression systems and extracellular vesicle biology.

Dr Kelwick has a Ph.D. in cancer biology in which he researched the roles of metalloproteinases in cancer. Specifically, investigating the protective mechanisms of A Disintegrin and Metalloproteinase with Thrombospondin motifs 15 (ADAMTS-15) in breast cancer. Dr Kelwick joined Prof. Paul Freemont’s group in 2013 where he has developed expertise in synthetic biology including the development of biosensors, biological materials and cell-free gene expression systems. Moving forward, Dr Kelwick aims to apply his expertise in both cancer biology and synthetic biology towards the development of novel extracellular vesicle (EV) biosensors and isolation methods for industrial applications. 

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

>Member of Imperial Postdocs and Fellows Enterprise Network (IPFEN) Committee 

>Successful entries in several business competitions (including Cancer Tech Accelerator 2021, 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].

>External speaker at University of Cambridge, University of Oxford, several Kenyan research institutions, and at national and international scientific conferences (e.g. GSEV-UKEV 2020, UKEV 2019, IET 2016, ECCSB 2017 [Switzerland]).

>A passion for science communication and public engagement. Interviewed on Persian TV (Manoto 1). Organised or 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. Advisor of several iGEM teams.

Selected Publications

Journal Articles

Welsh JA, Goberdhan DCI, O'Driscoll L, et al., 2024, Minimal information for studies of extracellular vesicles (MISEV2023): from basic to advanced approaches, Journal of Extracellular Vesicles, Vol:13, ISSN:2001-3078

Kelwick R, Webb A, Heliot A, et al., 2023, Opportunities to accelerate extracellular vesicle research with cell-free synthetic biology, Journal of Extracellular Biology, Vol:2, ISSN:2768-2811, Pages:1-12

Kelwick R, Webb A, Freemont P, 2023, Opportunities for engineering Outer Membrane Vesicles (OMVs) using synthetic biology approaches, Extracellular Vesicles and Circulating Nucleic Acids, Vol:4, ISSN:2767-6641, Pages:255-261

Webb A, Allan F, Kelwick R, et al., 2022, Specific Nucleic AcId Ligation for the detection of Schistosomes: SNAILS, PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases, Vol:16, ISSN:1935-2727, Pages:1-19

Kelwick RJR, Webb AJ, Wang Y, et al., 2021, AL-PHA beads: bioplastic-based protease biosensors for global health applications, Materials Today, Vol:47, ISSN:1369-7021, Pages:25-37

Kelwick R, Webb A, Freemont P, 2020, Biological materials: the next frontier for cell-free synthetic biology, Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology, Vol:8, ISSN:2296-4185

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

Webb AJ, Kelwick R, Freemont PS, 2017, Opportunities for applying whole-cell bioreporters towards parasite detection, Microbial Biotechnology, Vol:10, ISSN:1751-7915, Pages:244-249

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 <i>Escherichia coli</i>, PLOS One, Vol:10, ISSN:1932-6203

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


Webb AJ, Kelwick R, Wang Y, et al., 2019, AL-PHA beads: bioplastic-bsaed protease biosensors for global health, British Society for Parasitology Autumn Symposium, Belfast, UK

Kelwick R, Webb AJ, Wang Y, et al., 2019, ISEV2019 Abstract Book. PT09.10: Protease biomarker detection using functionalised bioplastic-based biosensors, ISEV 2019, Co-Action Publishing, ISSN:2001-3078

Webb AJ, Landeryou T, Kelwick R, et al., 2019, SPECIFIC NUCLEIC ACIDS LIGATION FOR DETECTION OF SCHISTOSOMES: SNAILS, 68th Annual Meeting of the American-Society-for-Tropical-Medicine-and-Hygiene (ASTMH), AMER SOC TROP MED &amp; HYGIENE, Pages:182-182, ISSN:0002-9637

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

Kelwick R, Webb AJ, Macdonald JT, et al., 2016, Development of a bacillus subtilis cell-free transcriptiontranslation system

Thesis Dissertations

Kelwick R, The role of A Disintegrin and Metalloproteinase with Thrombospondin Motifs-15 (ADAMTS-15) in Breast Cancer

More Publications