Jonathan Kay

Favourite Thing: I like to see technology from outside medicine being used to help patients. We’ve run lots of great projects using barcodes and web technology that do that. Some of the processes used to look after patients are primitive compared to what we all use to buy things or listen to music. Why do you think this is?



Dulwich College 1964 to 1970. University of Oxford 1970 to 1975. University of London 1975 to 1978.


MA, MSc, MB, BS, FRCPath

Work History:

Oxford hospitals; St Bartholomew’s, London; Hospital for Sick Children, Great Ormond Street; University of Oxford; City University London

Current Job:

Consultant Chemical Pathologist, Oxford; Professor of Health Informatics, City University London


Oxford University Hospital NHS Trust

Me and my work

I work in a busy hospital laboratory receiving over 10,000 specimens a day, and which runs some big screening programmes.

My Typical Day

I’m really lucky: no two days are the same.

Sometimes I work out what’s wrong with patients. Sometimes I teach, mostly medical students. Sometimes I work on technology projects: at the moment we’re putting a big computer system into our hospital.

What I'd do with the money

Give it to a charity promoting women’s education in Africa: the most cost-effective healthcare intervention known to mankind.

My Interview

How would you describe yourself in 3 words?

Impatient. Curious. Argumentative.

Who is your favourite singer or band?

Pink Floyd

What is the most fun thing you've done?

I built my own car. It came in 14 cardboard boxes. It’s a Caterham 7, like these:

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

Not get impatient listening to others. Finish projects better. Think of a third wish.

What did you want to be after you left school?


Were you ever in trouble in at school?

Often. Sometimes resulting in physical punishment by teachers, which was legal then.

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

Part of the team that designed the system for sending laboratory reports to general practitioners’ computers. Everyone uses it now.

Tell us a joke.

Name three fish that begin and end with the letter “K”. (You have to do the next bit.)

Other stuff

Work photos: