Alan Chait received his MBChB (MD equivalent) and his MD (PhD equivalent) from the University of Cape Town, South Africa. After completing an internship at Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town, he finished his residency and a research fellowship at the Hammersmith Hospital, Royal Postgraduate Medical School, in London, UK. He next became a lecturer in Endocrinology at the London Hospital.

Dr. Chait came to the University of Washington (UW) as a senior research fellow in Metabolism and Endocrinology in 1975, and was appointed to the faculty in 1977. In 1985 he was appointed Professor of Medicine, and became Head of the Division on Metabolism, Endocrinology and Nutrition in 1996.

In addition to clinical teaching and patient care responsibilities at the UW Medical Center, since 1977 Dr. Chait has been continuously funded by the NIH and other sources to study mechanisms of atherogenesis, with a particular focus on the role of diabetes in the pathogenesis of macrovascular disease. He has served as Director of the UW's Clinical Nutrition Research Unit (CNRU) – recently renamed Nutrition Obesity Research Center (NORC) since 1992, is a PI for a Program Project to study macrovascular disease in diabetes, is the Project Leader on another Program Project Grant, and is the PI on a NIH T32 Training Grant from the NHLBI.

Dr. Chait is a member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation and the Association of American Physicians, and serves on several editorial boards. He also chairs the US-Japan Nutrition and Metabolism Panel of the US-Japan Cooperative Medical Science Program.