Ray graduated with a first class honours degree in pharmacy from The University of Manchester in 1974. After professional training, he registered as a pharmacist in 1975, and went on to complete a PhD at The University of Manchester in 1978, based on his research into male anti-fertility compounds.
Following a period of time managing a busy community pharmacy, Ray has worked in various hospitals in North West and North Staffordshire. He was Director of Pharmacy/Senior lecturer at the University Hospital of North Staffordshire from 1991 to 2003, during which time he was also Director of Research and Development for the Hospital, and played a key role in developing the Department of Medicines Management at Keele University.
Ray became Clinical Director of Pharmacy at Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust in February 2003. He was also a Professor of Pharmacy at Wolverhampton University between 2004 and 2014 and was instrumental in establishing the undergraduate School of Pharmacy at the university.
In August 2014 he was made a Professor of Clinical Pharmacy at Keele University, in addition to his NHS role.
Ray has a special interest in medicines optimisation and pharmacy practice research, with over 120 publications, including research papers, conference presentations and book chapters. He has advised NHS and government bodies on medicines management and prescribing issues.
His current areas of research interest are pharmacoepidemiology and the impact of IT and robotics on practice.
In 2007, Ray was made a Fellow of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society for distinction in the profession of pharmacy and was made a Fellow of the Faculty of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society in 2013.