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Dr Richard Harvey

Education/Academic qualification

  • Doctor of Philosophy, King's College London

  • Master of Science, Birkbeck, University of London

  • Bachelor of Science, Cardiff University


Research interests

Dr Harvey's research is based around the use of physical techniques, from microscopy and optical spectroscopies to neutron scattering, in order to study phenomena associated with the aggregation behaviour and interactions of amphiphilic molecules in biological milieu.


 Specific areas of interest include:


  • The role of aminoacyl lipids in the structure and function of bacterial membranes in relation to antimicrobial drug resistance.
  • The effect of antimicrobial peptides and polymers on aggregation behaviour and toxicity of lipopolysaccharides.
  • Physico-chemical studies of behaviour of charged and neutral lipids and surfactants in the binary and ternary mixtures commonly used in drug delivery vehicles.

Biographical details

Richard Harvey is a Lecturer in Molecular Pharmaceutics. His research is currently focused on studying molecular interactions between components of the bacterial cell envelope such as lipopolysaccharide and plasma membrane lipids, and membrane-active antimicrobial substances. To achieve this, his group uses a number of different experimental methods ranging from lipidomics and molecular spectroscopy to surface science techniques such as neutron reflectometry and diffraction. The overall aim of this work is to gain insight into physical mechanisms of drug tolerance in multi-resistant bacteria of clinical relevance, to aid the development of future anti-infectives. This research necessarily involves collaboration with infection control clinicians both within and beyond King’s Health Partners.

Richard obtained his BSc in Microbiology from University College Cardiff in 1988 and pursued a career as a secondary school and sixth form college teacher before graduating with an MSc in Comparative Physiology from Birkbeck College in 1997. He then returned to full-time study to undertake a PhD in Pharmaceutical Biophysics at King’s College London, graduating in 2002. Richard worked as a postdoc at Université Paris XI from 2002 to 2003 researching colon-targeted gene delivery. He returned to KCL in 2004 as a teaching fellow before obtaining a lectureship in 2005.

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