Aneez Esmail is Professor of General Practice at the University of Manchester and until April 2017, Director of the NIHR Manchester Patients Safety Translational Research Centre. He was Associate Vice-President for Equality & Diversity and Social Responsibility from 2005-2014.

As a health services researcher he has published work in several areas of public health (prevention of cot deaths, epidemiology of solvent abuse, preventing paediatric admissions, the evaluation of telemedicine and patient safety). He has raised over £11 million in research grants, £1.4 million in educational grants and over £300,000 in consultancy fees over the last 20 years. He is currently responsible for a large area of work looking at patient safety in primary care and works collaboratively with researchers from North America, Australasia and Europe.

He worked as the only Medical Advisor to Dame Janet Smith, the Appeal Court judge who chaired the Shipman Inquiry between 2001-2005. He played a key role in developing the recommendations which resulted in significant changes on reform of the General Medical Council, death certification and investigation, controlled drugs regulation and the regulation and revalidation of doctors. 

He is recognised nationally for his research on discrimination in the medical profession. Much of the work that he has carried out in this area has resulted in significant changes in recruitment, selection, monitoring and assessment of the medical profession. This work was recognised internationally with the award of a Harkness Fellowship and Visiting Professorship at Harvard University  in 1997. He was offered but declined an OBE for his contribution to primary care and race relations in 2002.

He continues to teach both undergraduate and postgraduate students and was made a Prinicpal of the Higher Education Academy in 2014.

He continues to practise as a clinician, at the Robert Darbishire Practice, a social enterprise based in one of the most deprived areas of Manchester. It is the largest practice in Manchester with over 22,000 registered patients. The practice has a turnover of over £2.5 million annually and provides an innovative service in relation to same day access, care of deprived populations and looking after patients with complex health needs. He was commended by the Heath Service Journal, as one of the top 100 Clinical Leaders in the NHS in 2014.