Phil Rice

Favourite Thing: Doing a new experiment and not knowing what the results will be – It’s just like Christmas, except you have NO idea what you will be getting



Woking Grammar School for Boys 1974-1979; Woking Sixth Form College 1979-1981; St Thomas’ Hospital Medical School (London Univ) 1981-1987


BSc (Hons) Physiology; Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery; Fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists

Work History:

House-jobs (Burton-on-Trent and London); Microbiology Doctor Sheffield; Virology Doctor London (St Thomas’ and St George’s)

Current Job:

Consultant Virologist, St George’s Hospital, Tooting, London


St George’s Healthcare NHS Trust

Me and my work

I work as a detective trying to find out what infection a patient has and then trying to stop other people getting it.

Every day is different; new patients with different infections appear all the time.  Seeing patients and telling them what is wrong with them and how we can fix it or how long their bodies will take to fix it on their own.  Also get to spend time in the lab playing around with chickenpox virus – trying to prove my idea that sunlight controls the spread of infection and has then gone onto to underpin the evolution of he virus.

My Typical Day

Checking test results on patients; answering telephone calls from patients and doctors; experiments in the lab.

What I'd do with the money

Buy lots of educational material to teach Evolution by natural selection to primary school children – the sooner the better.

Buy fossils, models and other props which the children can play with so that in class we can all talk about the origin and evolution of life where we live – Earth!

My Interview

How would you describe yourself in 3 words?

Enthusiastic, kind, forgetful

Who is your favourite singer or band?

David Bowie

What is the most fun thing you've done?

A weeks football tour in Jersey – all the beer was half-price and the pubs opened at 9am!

If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!

To NOT procrastinate! To go into SPACE! To FORGET stuff LESS.

What did you want to be after you left school?

A doctor or a pilot in the RAF – but doctor won because I am hopeless at navigation!

Were you ever in trouble in at school?

“Sold” story to local paper about our school meals being awful and a rip-off; almost got the cane!

What's the best thing you've done as a scientist?

Developed my own theory about how chickenpox has evolved and how the Moon has caused it – AND no one had ever thought of it before!

Tell us a joke.

I had to look this up – but it made me laugh: “The early bird might get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese”.

Other stuff

Work photos: