Professor Karim Raza BA, BMBCh, FRCP, PhD

Professor Karim Raza

Institute of Inflammation and Ageing
Professor of Clinical Rheumatology and Honorary Consultant

Contact details

Institute of Inflammation and Ageing
College of Medical and Dental Sciences
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Karim Raza is Professor of Clinical Rheumatology at the University of Birmingham, UK. He qualified from Oxford in 1993 and achieved Membership of the Royal College of Physicians in 1996. From 2000-2003 he worked as an Arthritis Research UK clinical training fellow studying the regulation of leukocyte apoptosis in early inflammatory arthritis. Following the award of a PhD, he was appointed as Senior Lecturer and Honorary Consultant in Rheumatology in 2004. In 2009 he was made a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and was awarded the prestigious Michael Mason Prize by the British Society for Rheumatology. He was promoted to Reader in 2011 and Professor in 2013.

His research focuses on rheumatoid arthritis, the most common of the chronic inflammatory joint diseases. Within this disease area, his research addresses pathogenic mechanisms, biomarker development and strategies to enhance clinical outcomes for patients with a new onset of disease. Specifically he is interested in:

  1. Mechanisms driving the molecular basis for the switch to disease persistence and the timing of this switch in early arthritis.
  2. Predictors of outcome in patients with early inflammatory arthritis.
  3. Novel anti-inflammatory mechanisms that may be useful in the control of persistent inflammation, including vitamin D and endogenously generated glucocorticoids.
  4. Management pathways for patients with early rheumatoid arthritis, including the development of strategies to facilitate rapid patient assessment.






Professor Karim Raza plays an active role in teaching clinical rheumatology to 3rd and 4th year medical students at the University of Birmingham as well as supporting SSA and SSM activities. He is also the Year Tutor for year 5 medical students. At a postgraduate level, he teaches on several postgraduate courses and supervises doctors on the Academic Clinical Training program. In addition, his research group includes PhD students, whose supervision and teaching he plays a central role in.

Other activities


1. Co-chair of the EULAR study group on preclinical and the earliest clinically apparent phases of rheumatoid arthritis (2011- present).

2. Member of the Editorial board for the Rheumatology (2011- present).

3. Member of the Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Facility Scientific Advisory Committee (Birmingham) (2010-present).

4. Member of the Arthritis Research UK Clinical Studies Central Progress Review Committee (2009- 2013).

5. Member of the EULAR Grants Advisory Council for the EULAR orphan disease programme (2009).

6. Member of the Dutch Arthritis Association international peer review panel (2008 and 2013).

7. Lead for compliance with the Human Tissue Act for the School of Immunity and Infection, University of Birmingham (2006- present).

8. Clinical Governance lead for Rheumatology at Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust (2005-2008).

Honorary consultant Rheumatologist at Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospital NHS Trust



Kapoor SR, Filer A, Fitzpatrick MA, Fisher BA, Taylor PC, Buckley CD, McInnes IB, Raza K*, Young SP* (*Joint senior authors). Metabolic profiling predicts response to anti-TNFalpha therapy in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Arthritis Rheum. 2013 Mar 4. doi: 10.1002/art.37921. [Epub ahead of print]

Raza K, Saber TP, Kvien TK, Tak PP, Gerlag DM. Timing the therapeutic window of opportunity in early rheumatoid arthritis - proposal for definitions of disease duration in clinical trials. Ann Rheum Dis. 2012 Aug 31. [Epub ahead of print]

Gerlag DM*, Raza K* (*Joint first authors), van Baarsen LG, Brouwer E, Buckley CD, Burmester GR, Gabay C, Catrina AI, Cope AP, Cornelis F, Dahlqvist SR, Emery P, Eyre S, Finckh A, Gay S, Hazes JM, van der Helm-van Mil A, Huizinga TW, Klareskog L, Kvien TK, Lewis C, Machold KP, Ronnelid J, Schaardenburg D, Schett G, Smolen JS, Thomas S, Worthington J, Tak PP EULAR recommendations for terminology and research in individuals at risk of rheumatoid arthritis: report from the Study Group for Risk Factors for Rheumatoid Arthritis. Ann Rheum Dis 2012;71 :638-641.

Stack RJ, Shaw K, Mallen C, Herron-Marx S, Horne R, Raza K. Delays in help seeking at the onset of rheumatoid arthritis: a systematic synthesis of the qualitative literature. Ann Rheum Dis. 2012;71:493-7.

Yeo L, Toellner KM, Salmon M, Filer AD, Buckley CD, Raza K, Scheel-Toellner D. Cytokine mRNA profiling identifies B cells as a major source of RANKL in rheumatoid arthritis. Ann Rheum Dis. 2011;70(11):2022-8.

Hidalgo E, Essex SJ, Yeo L, Curnow SJ, Filer A, Cooper MS, Thomas AM, McGettrick HM, Salmon M, Buckley C, Raza K,  Scheel-Toellner D.  The response of T cells to IL-6 is differentially regulated by the microenvironment of the rheumatoid synovial fluid and tissue. Arthritis Rheum. 2011;63:3284-93.

Raza K, Stack R, Kumar K, Filer A, Detert J, Bastian H, Burmester GR,  Sidiropoulos P, Kteniadaki E, Repa A, Saxne T, Turesson C, Mann H, Vencovsky J, Catrina A, Chatzidionysiou A, Hensvold A, Rantapää-Dahlqvist S, Binder A, Machold K, Kwiakowska B, Ciurea A, Tamborrini G,  Kyburz D, Buckley CD. Delays in assessment of patients with rheumatoid arthritis: variations across Europe. Ann Rheum Dis. 2011;70:1822-5.

Cader MZ, Filer A, Hazlehurst J, de Pablo P, Buckley CD, Raza K. Performance of the 2010 ACR / EULAR criteria for rheumatoid arthritis: comparison to 1987 ACR criteria in a very early synovitis cohort. Ann Rheum Dis. 2011;70:949-55.

Filer A,de Pablo P, Allen G, Nightingale P, Jordan A, Jobanputra P, Bowman S,Buckley CD, Raza K. Utility of ultrasound joint counts in the prediction of rheumatoid arthritis in patients with very early synovitis. Ann Rheum Dis. 2011;70:500-7.

Church LD, Filer A, Hidalgo E, Howlett K, Thomas AMC, Rapecki S, Scheel-Toellner D,  Buckley CD, Raza K. Rheumatoid synovial fluid IL-17-producing CD4 T cells have abundant TNF alpha co-expression, but little IL-22 and IL-23R expression. Arthritis Res Ther. 2010;12(5):R184.

van der Linden MP, le Cessie S, Raza K, van der Woude D, Knevel R, Huizinga TWJ, van der Helm-van Mil AHM.Long-term impact of delay in assessment of early arthritis patients. Arthritis Rheum. 2010;62:3537-46.

Kumar K, Daley E, Khattak F, Buckley CD, Raza K. The influence of ethnicity on the extent of and reasons underlying delay in GP consultation in patients with RA. Rheumatology. 2010;49:1005-12.

Jeffery LE, Burke F, Mura M, Zheng Y, Qureshi OS, Hewison M, Walker LSK, Lammas DA, Raza K, Sansom DM. 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 and interleukin-2 combine to inhibit inflammatory T cell generation and promote development of regulatory T cells expressing CTLA-4 and FoxP3. J Immunol. 2009;183:5458-5467.

van der Helm-van MilA, Detert J, le CessieS, FilerA, BastianH, BurmesterGR, HuizingaTWJ, Raza K. Moving towards individualized treatment decision making: validation of a prediction rule for disease outcome in patients with recent-onset undifferentiated arthritis. Arthritis Rheum. 2008; 58:2241-2247.

Sheppard J, Kumar K, Buckley CD, Shaw KL, Raza K. “I just thought it was normal aches and pains”: A Qualitative Study of Decision Making Processes in Patients with Early Rheumatoid Arthritis. Rheumatology 2008;47:1577-82.

Hardy RS, Rabbitt EH, Filer A, Emery P, Hewison M, Stewart PM, Gittoes N, Buckley CD, Raza K, Cooper MS. Local and systemic glucocorticoid metabolism in inflammatory arthritis. Ann Rheum Dis. 2008; 67:1204-10.

Sheppard J, Kumar K, Buckley CD, Shaw KL, Raza K. “I just thought it was normal aches and pains”: A Qualitative Study of Decision Making Processes in Patients with Early Rheumatoid Arthritis. Rheumatology 2008;47:1577-82.

Kumar K, Daley E, Carruthers DM, Situnayake D,Gordon C,  Grindulis K, Buckley CD, Khattak F, Raza K. Delay in presentation to primary care physicians is the main reason why patients with rheumatoid arthritis are seen late by Rheumatologists. Rheumatology. 2007;46:1438-40.

Raza K, Scheel-Toellner D, Lee CY, Pilling D, Curnow SJ, Falciani F, Trevino V, Kumar K, Assi LK, Lord JM, Gordon C, Buckley CD, Salmon M. Synovial fluid leukocyte apoptosis is inhibited in patients with very early rheumatoid arthritis. Arthritis Res Ther. 2006, 8(4): R120.

Raza K, Falciani F, Curnow SJ, Ross EJ, Lee CY, Akbar A, Lord JM, Gordon C, Buckley CD, Salmon M. Early rheumatoid arthritis is characterised by a distinct and transient synovial fluid cytokine profile of T cell and stromal cell origin. Arthritis Res Ther.  2005; 7:R784-R795.

Raza K, Breese M, Nightingale P, KumarK, PotterT, CarruthersDM, SitunayakeD, GordonC, BuckleyCD, SalmonM, KitasGD. The predictive value of antibodies to cyclic citrullinated peptide in patients with very early inflammatory arthritis. J Rheumatol. 2005; 32:231-8.