Dr William Kelton

William Kelton


Qualifications: PhD

Papers Taught

Research Supervised


Annmaree Warrender (In progress): "The hidden influence of antibody polymorphism"

Kyrin Hanning (In  progress):  "Enhancing the therapeutic potential of Immunoglobulin A"

Emma Walker (In progress, co-supervised):  "The intracellular lifecycle of Neisseria gonorrhoeae; how can we exploit it?


Lea Kreutmeyer (2022):  " Isolation and Validation of New Terpene Synthase Genes from Pinus radiata"

Research Interests

Our research focuses on using new tools to manipulate and investigate proteins that are involved with mammalian immune responses. We blend aspects of molecular biology, immunology, and protein engineering to better understand how we can improve important protein drugs such as antibodies. We are also aiming to understand the effect these molecules exert when they interact with other elements of the immune system.

Investigating the Immune Influence of Natural Antibody Diversity

It has long been known that antibodies have massive diversity in their variable regions, this allows the immune system a high degree of flexibility to produce antibodies that can counter new immune threats. Lesser known and poorly understood is diversity in the constant region of antibodies. As this constant region directs cell-mediated immune responses, we are seeking to determine how this diversity influences our internal fight against infection and disease.

Protein Engineering to Enhance Antibody Immune Function

Antibodies are widely used as therapeutic drugs in cancer treatments and to prevent infectious disease. With our collaborators at ETH Zurich, we are using CRISPR/Cas9 to modify the sequence of antibodies in mammalian cells and create libraries of antibody variants. We can then screen these libraries to look for enhanced antibody function which is mediated by binding to Fc receptors. Antibodies with enhanced effector function are potential candidates for cancer therapy.

Characterisation of Antibody Isotypes

Most clinically explored antibodies are of the IgG isotype and have exceptionally potent action and long residence times in circulation. Lesser explored are antibodies of the IgA and IgE subclasses. We are interested in investigating the therapeutic power of these antibody subclasses for applications in mucosal immunity and in allergy.

Research Publications by Will Kelton

Pogson, M., Parola, C., Kelton, W.J., Heuberger, P. and Reddy, S.T., 2016. Immunogenomic engineering of a plug-and-(dis) play hybridoma platform. Nature communications7(1), pp.1-10.

Mason, D.M., Weber, C.R., Parola, C., Meng, S.M., Greiff, V., Kelton, W.J. and Reddy, S.T., 2018. High-throughput antibody engineering in mammalian cells by CRISPR/Cas9-mediated homology-directed mutagenesis. Nucleic acids research46(14), pp.7436-7449.

Kelton, W.J., Pesch, T., Matile, S. and Reddy, S.T., 2016. Surveying the delivery methods of CRISPR/Cas9 for ex vivo mammalian cell engineering. CHIMIA International Journal for Chemistry70(6), pp.439-442.

Kelton, W., Waindok, A.C., Pesch, T., Pogson, M., Ford, K., Parola, C. and Reddy, S.T., 2017. Reprogramming MHC specificity by CRISPR-Cas9-assisted cassette exchange. Scientific reports7, p.45775.

Recent Publications

  • Hanning, K. R., Minot, M., Warrender, A. K., Kelton, W., & Reddy, S. T. (2021). Deep mutational scanning for therapeutic antibody engineering. Trends in Pharmacological Sciences. doi:10.1016/

  • Taft, J. M., Weber, C. R., Gao, B., Ehling, R. A., Han, J., Frei, L., . . . Reddy, S. (2021). Predictive profiling of SARS-CoV-2 variants by deep mutational learning. bioRxiv.

  • Warrender, A. K., & Kelton, W. (2020). Beyond allotypes: The influence of allelic diversity in antibody constant domains. Frontiers in Immunology, 11. doi:10.3389/fimmu.2020.02016 Open Access version:

  • Pesch, T., Bonati, L., Kelton, W., Parola, C., Ehling, R. A., Csepregi, L., . . . Reddy, S. T. (2019). Molecular design, optimization, and genomic integration of chimeric B cell receptors in murine B cells. Frontiers in Immunology, 10. doi:10.3389/fimmu.2019.02630

Find more research publications by William Kelton