Dr. Joshua Chai

Director | Consultant Cardiologist | Complex Coronary Intervention Specialist

MA MB BChir (Cambridge) DPhil (Oxford) FRCP (London) 

Qualification and Training:

  • BA (Natural Sciences - Neurobiology), University of Cambridge, 2002
  • MB BChir, University of Cambridge, 2004
  • MA, University of Cambridge, 2006
  • MRCP, Royal College of Physicians (London), 2008
  • DPhil (PhD) in Cardiovascular Medicine, University of Oxford, 2016
  • CCT in Cardiology (Intervention), London Deanery
  • Post-CCT Complex Interventional Fellowship, Bournemouth, UK
  • Elected Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians (FRCP), 2020

Dr Chai is an internationally award-winning Consultant Cardiologist at Wexham Park Hospital in South Buckinghamshire / East Berkshire, and Honorary Consultant Cardiologist at the Royal Brompton Hospital in London. He grew up in Hong Kong and was educated at Eton College as an Oppidan Scholar. He studied medicine at University of Cambridge, and was elected Rolleston Scholar of St John's College (University of Cambridge), where he completed his pre-clinical medicine with special interests in neurobiology (the hippocampus and hormonal influence on neurogenesis).  He was awarded his BA at Cambridge with First Class Honours in 2002. He continued his clinical study at the University of Cambridge Clinical School and qualified in clinical medicine (MB BChir) in 2004.

Dr Chai subsequently completed his post-graduate general medical training in London, rotated between St Bartholomew's, London Chest, and the Royal London Hospitals, before embarking on Cardiology specialist training in St Georges Hospital and King's College Hospital in London. He was awarded the prestigious Medical Research Council Clinical Research Fellowship to pursue his doctoral research in cardiovascular imaging and vascular biology, and was awarded his PhD / DPhil in Cardiovascular Medicine at the University of Oxford in 2016.

His research focused on the translational aspect using a novel clinically useful non-invasive MRI technique in characterising fatty deposits in the arteries (atherosclerotic plaque) in particular their lipid composition, which was then correlated to the functional heterogeneity of plaque inflammatory cells (macrophages) using gene expression microarray technology. This novel platform of plaque characterisation showed early promise in facilitating future efforts in patient stratification for more individualised aggressive treatment against atherosclerotic disease. His award-winning research had been presented at many international conferences and published in many peer-reviewed journals.



Awards and Accolades:

He has won many prestigious awards including:

  • Rolleston Scholar, St John's College, University of Cambridge
  • St John's College Prize, University of Cambridge
  • Scholarship / Bursary by the Cambridge Commonwealth Trust, University of Cambridge
  • Fellow of the Cambridge Commonwealth Society, University of Cambridge
  • MRC Clinical Research Training Fellowship, Medical Research Council, UK
  • Young Investigator Award, European Atherosclerosis Society
  • Finalist award for the Melvin Judkins Young Clinical Investigators, American Heart Association
  • President Prize, Royal Society of Medicine
  • Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, Royal College of Physicians, UK

Current appointment:

Dr Chai was appointed Consultant General and Interventional Cardiologist at Wexham Park Hospital, part of Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust, after completion of a further Post-CCT complex coronary interventional fellowship in Bournemouth. He is currently the Clinical Lead in the Chest Pain Service and Rapid Access Suspected Angina Clinic. He chairs the weekly Cardiac CT / Imaging MDT with his fellow consultant radiology colleagues and successfully introduced the in-patient Acute Coronary Syndrome nurse-led service at Wexham. He introduced many new technology platforms into Wexham Park Cardiac Catheter Laboratory - including state-of-the-art intracoronary imaging technique with co-registered Optical Coherence Tomography, and advanced calcium modification techniques including rotational atherectomy and shockwave intravascular lithotripsy therapy. He was instrumental in the development of a new complex interventional and CTO programme and is currently also the lead consultant for Cardiac Rehabilitation services at Wexham Park Hospital. His strong commitment from prevention to rehabilitation is therefore abundantly clear and evident in his NHS work.

A decade ago, during his research time at University of Oxford, he brought together his primary research focus in cardiovascular medicine with his strong interest in sports and exercise physiology and co-founded PhysioQinetics - a successful chain of four physiotherapy clinics spanning across 4 counties - to bring about advanced manual therapy using evidenced-based and cutting-edge techniques. PhysioQinetics and CardioQinetics now works seamlessly together to provide complete cardiac care from prevention to rehabilitation through our CaRe programme to our patient population.

In his spare time, he is an avid wedding and portrait photographer.


Selected publications:


Choudhury RP, Chai JT, Fisher EA
Biology and pathology of atherosclerosis (Book chapter)
Oxford Textbook of Medicine: Cardiovascular Disorders. Oxford University Press, 2016

Chai JT, Biasiolli L, Li L, Jezzard P, Handa A, Choudhury RP
Clinical vascular magnetic resonance imaging at high field (Book chapter)
Vascular and Endovascular Consensus Update. BIBA publishing, 2014


Ruparelia N, Chai JT, Fisher EA, Choudhury RP
Inflammatory processes in cardiovascular disease: a route to targeted therapies
Nature Rev Cardiol. 2017 Mar;14(3):133-144

Alkhalil M, Chai JT, Choudhury RP
Plaque imaging to refine indications for emerging lipid-lowering drugs
Eur Heart J Cardiovasc Pharmacotherapy. 2017 Jan;3(1):58-67

Chai JT, Choudhury RP
Cardiometabolic interventions – focus on transcriptional regulators
Eur J Cardiovasc Med 2013 Aug; 2(3):212-218

Chai JT, Digby JE, Choudhury RP
GPR109A and vascular inflammation
Curr Atheroscler Rep. 2013 May;15(5):325


Edgar L, Akbar N, Braithwaite AT, Krausgruber T, Gallart-Ayala H, Bailey J, Corbin AL, Khoyratty TE, Chai JT, et al.
Hyperglycaemia induces trained immunity in macrophages and their precursors and promotes atherosclerosis
Circulation, 2021 Jul 13 doi: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.120.046464

Chai JT, Ruparelia, N, Goel A, Kyriakou T, Biasiolli L, Edgar L, Handa A, Farrall M, Watkins H, Choudhury RP
Differential gene expression in macrophages from human atherosclerotic plaques shows convergence on pathways implicated by GWAS risk variants
Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol, 2018 Nov; 38(11):2718-30

Alkhalil M, Biasiolli L, Akbar N, Gallassi F, Chai JT, Robson MD, Choudhury RP
T2 mapping MRI technique quantifies carotid plaque lipid, and its depletion after statin initiation, following acute myocardial infarction
Atherosclerosis, 2018 Dec; 279:100-106

Chai JT, Biasiolli L, Li L, Handa A, Perkins J, Hands L, Sideso E, Jezzard P, Robson M, Choudhury R
Quantification of lipid-rich core in carotid atherosclerosis using T2 mapping with MRI – relation to clinical presentation
JACC Cardiovascular Imaging. 2017 Jul;10(7):747-756

Alkhalil M, Biasiolli L, Chai JT, Galassi F, Li L, Darby C, Halliday A, Hands L, Magee T, Perkins J, Sideso E, Jezzard P, Robson MD, Handa A, Choudhury RP
Quantification of carotid plaque lipid content with magnetic resonance T2 mapping in patients undergoing carotid endarterectomy
PLoS One. 2017 Jul 26;12(7):e0181668

Ruparelia N, Godec J, Lee R, Chai JT, Dall'Armellina E, McAndrew D, Digby JE, Forfar JC, Prendergast BD, Kharbanda RK, Banning AP, Neubauer S, Lygate CA, Channon KM, Nicholas Haining W, Choudhury RP
Acute myocardial infarction activates distinct inflammation and proliferation pathways in circulating monocytes, prior to recruitment, and identified through conserved transcriptional responses in mice and humans
Eur Heart J. 2015 Aug 1;36(29):1923-34

Li L, Chai JT, Biasiolli L, Robson MD, Choudhury RP, Handa A, Near J, Jezzard P
Black-blood multi-contrast imaging of carotid arteries using DANTE-prepared 2D and 3D MRI
Radiology. 2014 Jun 11:131717

Biasiolli L, Lindsay AC, Chai JT, Choudhury RP, Robson MD
In-vivo quantitative T2 mapping of carotid arteries in atherosclerotic patients: segmentation and T2 measurement of plaque components
J Cardiovasc Magn Reson. 2013 Aug;15:69 

Chai JT, Digby JE, Ruparelia N, Jefferson A, Handa A, Choudhury RP
Nicotinic acid receptor GPR109A is down-regulated in human macrophage-derived foam cells
PLoS ONE. 2013 May 2; 8(5): e62934

Digby JE, Martinez F, Jefferson A, Ruparelia N, Chai JT, Wamil M, Greave DR, Choudhury RP
Anti-inflammatory effects of nicotinic acid in human monocytes are mediated by GPR109A dependent mechanisms
Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol., 2012 Mar;32(3):669-76

Choy KW, Pang CP, Yu CB, Wong HL, Ng JS, Fan DS, Lo KW, Chai JT, Wang J, Fu W, Lam DS
Loss of heterozygosity and mutations are the major mechanisms of RB1 gene inactivation in Chinese with sporadic retinoblastoma
Hum Mutation, 2002 Nov; 20(5):408


Chai JT, McGrath S, Lopez B, Dworakowski R
Eosinophilic granulomatosis with polyangiitis (Churg-Strauss syndrome) masquerading as acute ST- elevation myocardial infarction with complete resolution after immunosuppressive therapy: a case report
Eur Heart J Case Rep, 2018 Sep 21;2(3):yty075

Wong RH, Chai JT, Ng CS, Wan IY, Wan S, Underwood MJ
Transvenous pacing lead-induced superior vena cava syndrome: What do we know?
Surgical Practice, 2009 Nov;13(4):125-6

Chai JT, Eremeeva ME, Borland CD, Karas JA
Fatal Israeli Spotted Fever in a UK traveller to South Portugal
Journal of Travel Medicine, 2008 Mar;15(1):86


Chai JT, Biasiolli L, Li L, Alkhalil M, Galassi F, Darby C, Halliday A, Hands L, Magee T, Perkins J, Sideso E, Handa A, Jezzard P, Robson M, Choudhury R
Lipid-rich core quantification in carotid atherosclerosis using MRI T2 mapping – relation to clinical presentation and plaque macrophage activation
Circulation. 2015;132:A11833 - presented at AHA congress 2015

Chai JT, Biasiolli L, Li L, Handa A, Perkins J, Hands L, Sideso E, Jezzard P, Robson M, Choudhury R
Characterisation of carotid plaques by in-vivo quantitative T2 mapping: histological validation and lipid quantification
Eur Heart J. 2014, 35(Suppl 1):178 - presented at ESC congress 2014

Aljabali AAA, Chai JT, Thornton V, Schneider JE, Davis BG, Choudhury RP
Multimeric microparticles of iron oxide for dual modality molecular imaging with CT & MRI
Eur Heart J. 2014, 35(Suppl 1):284 - presented at ESC congress 2014

Biasiolli L, Chai JT, Li L, Handa A, Jezzard P, Choudhury RP, Robson MD
Histological validation of carotid plaque characterization by in-vivo T2 mapping in patients with recent cerebrovascular events: preliminary results
J Cardiovasc Magn Reson. 2014, 16(Suppl 1):P173 - presented at SCMR conference 2014

Li L, Biasiolli L, Chai JT, Robson MD, Choudhury RP, Handa A, Jezzard P
Fast three-dimentional black blood MR imaging for carotid artery intra-plaque haemorrhage using DANTE-prepared FLASH (3D-DASH)
J Cardiovasc Magn Reson. 2014, 16(Suppl 1):O75 - presented at SCMR conference 2014