Peter Balfe

Favourite Thing: Getting a new result!



Left school in 1975, probably before your parents were even born (said I was old…).


B.Sc., Ph.D.

Work History:

Glasgow, Edinburgh, London and New York (makes me sound like a chain of shops!)

Current Job:

Senior Lecturer, I teach Virology to students in the Medical School and do research into HCV


University of Birmingham, College of Medical and Dental Sciences

Me and my work

Working towards a cure for chronic HCV disease,- we’re getting there! See here for details :

My Typical Day

Talking science; to my colleagues, to my students, to my classes, to the guy in the papershop, to you!

What I'd do with the money

Use it for prizes for the best outreach activities by our students. My students want me to win, as the winner’s picture with their 3 word summary goes on the website, and they want to see my face with “Old, Fat, Bald” under it!

My Interview

How would you describe yourself in 3 words?

Old, fat, bald

Who is your favourite singer or band?

Music simply doesn’t interest me that much, does that make me weird?

What's your favourite food?

Curry of course

What is the most fun thing you've done?

Have kids

What did you want to be after you left school?

A scientist

Were you ever in trouble in at school?

Yes, I got bored easily and fell asleep a lot

What was your favourite subject at school?

Biology (and maths too I guess)

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

Developed a method to detect and sequence a single molecule of DNA

What or who inspired you to become a scientist?

Mr Fletcher, my biology teacher at school

If you weren't a scientist, what would you be?

A teacher

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

Less admin, more science, more time for my own lab work.

Tell us a joke.

There are 10 sorts of people, those who understand binary arithmetic, and those who don’t.

Other stuff

Work photos: