Joe Kai - Nottingham BRC

Joe Kai has been an inner city general practitioner since 1991. He is Professor and Head of the Division of Primary Care at University of Nottingham. The Division is part of the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) School of Primary Care, delivers internationally excellent research, and teaching and training of medical students across all five years of the BMBS course at Nottingham.

Joe trained at Newcastle University, became a GP principal at Adelaide Medical Centre in the city, and helped set up the West End Health Resource Centre. As a lecturer, he developed interests in medical education, responding to ethnic diversity, and qualitative research. He won the inaugural RCGP award for best research in primary care in 1997 for his doctoral work on parents dealing with acute illness in young children.

As a senior lecturer at Birmingham University (1999-2002) he helped establish the Midlands Research Practices Consortium (MidRec) as its clinical director, facilitating implementation of major MRC and HTA commissioned trials in primary care, and worked as a GP in Quinton.
In 2003 he became Foundation Chair and Head of Primary Care at University of Nottingham’s new graduate entry medical school. He supported its innovative curriculum and GP led clinical course at Derby. Moving to Nottingham’s main campus in 2010 to also develop applied research, he became Head of the Division of Primary Care in 2012, with over 100 academic, teaching and research staff, including 8 chairs. Joe remains a part-time GP at Derby Family Medical Centre with 85% of his patients from minority ethnic inner city communities.

In addition to health research, Joe has on-going interests in health professional training and service improvement. He has developed and led national training to support genetic assessment and screening by health professionals in the NHS, using haemoglobin disorders as a model ( His other work includes the BMA award winning Primary Care in Urban Disadvantaged Communities (Radcliffe); and interactive health professional training to reduce ethnic inequalities in health care. This includes PROCEED: Professionals responding to cancer and diversity (Cancer Research UK), the BUPA award-winning Valuing Diversity (2nd ed, Royal College of General Practitioners, 2006); and e-learning on health inequalities, language barriers and cross-cultural communication for the national GP curriculum (e-GP, RCGP). He led the primary care research programme of the NIHR CLAHRC for Notts-Derbys-Lincs till 2013, and public health programme on service improvement for obesity with East Midlands Academic Health Science Network (AHSN) till 2017.

Joe co-leads the Primary Care Stratified Medicine (PRISM) research group at Nottingham to improve effective and equitable health care and disease prevention. PRISM does this by developing and using advances in genomics and data science to better identify people’s risk of disease and their response to interventions.

In 2015, Joe’s research was named among the BMJ’s top 20 outstanding papers of the past 20 years.

For further details: Joe Kai