Andrew S.C. Rice MD FRCP FRCA FFPMRCA FFPMCAI is a clinical academic active in translational research and clinical practice in the field of neuropathic pain. He is Professor of Pain Research at Imperial College and Hon. Consultant in Pain Medicine at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital. He received his medical degree from St. Mary’s Hospital Medical School in 1982 and his research doctorate from St. Thomas’ Hospital Medical School (Sherrington School of Physiology) in 1991 where his supervisor was Prof Steve McMahon. He underwent specialist training in Oxford and at St Thomas’ before joining the academic staff of Imperial College in 1995, establishing the College’s first pain research group. He now leads an interdisciplinary research group which includes clinical academics from a number of backgrounds complemented by scientists, systematic review and biostatistics experts and historians.
His research on neuropathic pain covers pre-clinical and clinical domains - spanning preclinical evidence and rigour, through multi-dimensional phenotyping of patients with a view to personalised medicine, to clinical trials and evidence synthesis by systematic review and meta-analysis. The emphasis is on neuropathic pain in the context of infectious diseases (HIV, Herpes Zoster, leprosy and HTLV-1), diabetes, non-freezing cold injury and peripheral nerve trauma – especially that related to military conflict.
In clinical research, having developed robust deep phenotyping protocols encompassing a bio-psycho-social spectrum, much of his current work focusses on the deep profiling and genotyping of cohorts of neuropathic pain patients. This is with a view to identifying risk factors for neuropathic pain and for informing stratification of clinical trials. Andrew has participated in, and successfully led, several important clinical trials – including playing key roles in the late stage pre-clinical and early preclinical programmes within a biotech company (Spinifex) which developed a “first in class” novel neuropathic pain treatment (EMA401) that was acquired by Novartis. He is currently working with Imperial colleagues to develop an integrated rehabilitation research strategy.
Andrew enjoys collaborating with historians and archivists to research the history of neuropathic pain, especially that arising from 20th century conflicts. In collaboration with the National Archives, he is supervising an exploration of the lifetime consequences of amputation and nerve injury in First World War veterans. He serves on the academic staff of Imperial’s Centre for Blast Injury Studies (www.imperial.ac.uk/blast-injury/ )
Andrew spent much of his early independent research career elucidating the science of cannabinoid analgesia and was later active in improving the validity of animal models of neuropathy and developing ethologically relevant outcome measures (thigmotaxis and burrowing). He conceived, designed and led the first prospective multicentre validation study of an animal pain outcome measure. He led by example in advancing the transparency of reporting of animal data by making his original video files openly available for scrutiny and further analysis. His main focus now is in improving rigour in the design, conduct, analysis and reporting of in vivo pain research and in developing efficient methods for systematic review and meta-analysis of pre-clinical pain data in collaboration with colleagues in the CAMRADES Consortium (www.dcn.ed.ac.uk/camarades/ ). He recently published the first major systematic review and meta-analysis of preclinical data (chemotherapy induced neuropathy).
Andrew’s research programme has been funded from many sources including the European Commission, Wellcome Trust and Research Councils. He was a Principal Investigator of a Wellcome Trust Strategic Award (London Pain Consortium (2003-15) and was Administrative Director 2008-12 (www.lpc.ac.uk ). He particularly enjoys working in multidisciplinary consortia, for example: He was the academic lead for animal model innovation in the European Commission Innovative Medicines Initiative grant EUROPAIN (www.imieuropain.org/) and a workpackage lead in EQIPD (www.quality-preclinical-data.eu / ). Other Consortia in which he is active include Neuropain (www.cordis.europa.eu/project/id/602891/reporting ) and Dolorisk (www.dolorisk.eu/).
Andrew is the author of more than 200 peer reviewed scientific publications, many of which are in the major specialist journal in the field (PAIN). He has also published in other notable journals including: The Lancet, Brain, Lancet Neurology, New England Journal of Medicine and the British Medical Journal. His work has a citation (Hirsch) index of 53. He conceived and was lead editor of the four volume “Textbook of Clinical Pain Management”. Until 2018 he was Editor in Chief of the IASP publication Pain: Clinical Updates and has served on the editorial boards of several journals including PloS Medicine, Pain Reports and PAIN.
In 2016 Andrew was elected to a 6 year term as a Councillor of the International Association for the Study of Pain (www.iasp-pain.org ). In this capacity, he is privileged to serve as liaison to the Association of South-East Asian Pain Societies (ASEAPS) and enjoys supporting colleagues in developing pain education, clinical practice and research in the region. He is Chair of the Scientific Programme Committee for the 18th World Congress on Pain (2021) which now includes leading the development of a programme of virtual events to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. He is also Chair of the IASP Global Task Force on cannabinoid analgesia (to report 2020). He served in a number of leadership positions within the IASP Special Interest Group on Neuropathic Pain (NeuPSIG) and was Chair 2012-14.
In 2017, Andrew was awarded the Rynd medal by the Faculty of Pain Medicine, College of Anaesthetists of Ireland. His work around animal models was recognised by an Imperial College Lifetime Achievement Award in 2015. Also in 2015, he delivered the Patrick Wall Lectures at the British Pain Society and at the Faculty of Pain Medicine, Royal College of Anaesthetists. He was the Michael Cousins lecturer at the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists in 2009 and Covino Lecturer at Harvard University in 2008.
Andrew is an Honorary Consultant in Pain Medicine at the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital. As a member of a comprehensive multi-disciplinary pain management team, he provides a diagnostic and treatment service for patients with neuropathic pain; in particular peripheral nerve injury and infectious disease (mainly postherpetic neuralgia, leprosy and HIV). With Palliative and Addiction Medicine colleagues, he ran a review clinic for patients on inappropriately high doses of prescription opioids. He has developed an assessment pathway for military patients with neuropathic pain following Non Freezing Cold Injury.
et al., 2021, Cannabinoids, the endocannabinoid system, and pain: a review of preclinical studies., Pain, Vol:162, Pages:S5-S25
et al., 2021, Cannabinoids, cannabis, and cannabis-based medicines for pain management: an overview of systematic reviews., Pain, Vol:162, Pages:S67-S79
et al., 2021, General risks of harm with cannabinoids, cannabis, and cannabis-based medicine possibly relevant to patients receiving these for pain management: an overview of systematic reviews., Pain, Vol:162, Pages:S80-S96
et al., 2021, Societal issues and policy implications related to the use of cannabinoids, cannabis, and cannabis-based medicines for pain management., Pain, Vol:162, Pages:S110-S116
et al., 2021, International Association for the Study of Pain Presidential Task Force on Cannabis and Cannabinoid Analgesia: research agenda on the use of cannabinoids, cannabis, and cannabis-based medicines for pain management., Pain, Vol:162, Pages:S117-S124