Dr Saaeha Rauz PhD, FRCOphth

Saaeha Rauz

Institute of Inflammation and Ageing
Reader in Translational Ophthalmology
Honorary Consultant Ophthalmologist

Contact details

Academic Unit of Ophthalmology
Institute of Inflammation and Ageing
Centre for Translational Inflammation Research
University of Birmingham Research Laboratories
Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham
B15 2WB

Dr Rauz is a clinical academic who provides a highly-specialised tertiary referral service for complex, blinding immune-mediated ocular surface diseases at the Birmingham and Midland Eye Centre. She has a specialist expertise in rare progressive conjunctival scarring disorders such as mucous membrane pemphigoid and Stevens-Johnson Syndrome / Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis together with secondary causes of inflammatory dry eye disease including Primary Sjögren’s Syndrome.

A Bedside-to-Bench-to-Bedside approach underpins her research portfolio, with patients pivotal for informing research directions. She has a specific interest in (i) evaluating drivers of ocular surface scarring, (ii) monitoring and measuring outcomes and (iii) translating technologies that may modify biological processes.

The ultimate aim of her clinical and research portfolio is to improve disabling signs and symptoms that impact upon patient wellbeing and quality of life.


  • PhD Medicine 2002
  • Fellow of the Royal College of Ophthalmologists 1995
  • MB BS (Lond) 1990
  • GMC Accredited Trainer (Named postgraduate clinical supervisor; Named postgraduate education supervisor; and Undergraduate trainer)


Teaching Programmes:

Postgraduate supervision

There is a specific interest in supervising doctoral research students in the following areas:

  • Immune-mediated ocular surface diseases
  • Progressive conjunctival scarring
  • Corneal scarring
  • Ocular infections
  • Ocular surface inflammation and dry eye

If you are interesting in studying any of these subject areas please contact Dr Saaeha Rauz directly, or for any general doctoral research enquiries, please email mds-gradschool@contacts.bham.ac.uk.

For a full list of available Doctoral Research opportunities, please visit our Doctoral Research programme listings.


The patient clinical cohort underpinning Dr Rauz’s research activities have immune-mediated ocular surface diseases or where the underlying aetiology is infection. Specific interests lie in interrogating:

  • Drivers of ocular inflammation and scarring.
  • Monitoring and measuring clinical and patient reported outcomes.
  • Translating technologies (drugs and devices) that modify biological processes and responses.

The principal themes of research are:

1)  Persistence of Inflammation and Progressive Conjunctival Fibrosis:

Inflammation and scarring of the ocular mucosal surfaces are a group of rare conditions that provide particular challenges leading to disabling symptomatology and sight-loss. Progression of disease frequently occurs without manifest inflammation making clinical monitoring problematic.

With a focus on innovative targets, drug discovery, development and translation to the clinic, this research theme is redefining outcome measures (laboratory, clinical and patient-reported) through multiple scientific collaborations and engagement with patients, public and industry.

2) Corneal Scarring:

Corneal scarring is the most common cause of preventable worldwide blindness with the WHO reporting 8 million new cases of corneal blindness per annum.  Multidisciplinary collaborations across Colleges, Institutes and International collaborations, the team of clinicians, immunologists, chemical engineers, pharmacologists, tissue regeneration experts and trialists, are evaluating technologies that modify biological processes linked to scar formation.  An optimal environment for corneal tissues to heal without scarring (thereby avoiding visually debilitating opacity) is key. Phase I/II clinical trials are anticipated in the near future.

3) Ocular Surface Disease and Patient Morbidity:

Patient and Public Involvement Groups, The Eye Drops Patient Focus Group and the British Sjögren’s Syndrome Association are driving research into unmet need for better therapies for persistent debilitating ocular dryness and corneal neuropathic pain. Over 20% of the population has some element of dry eye symptomatology which time to trade of analyses have shown to be as disabling as severe angina or renal dialysis 3x/week. In partnership with the Healthcare Technologies Institute, the group has developed patented technologies that have the ability to protect and repair the eye, deliver essential nutrients to help recondition and restore the surface of the eye, and above all provide comfort, aiming to improve the quality of patient lives.

Other activities


  • Japan Society for the Promotion of Science Core to Core Programme: International genome study-based elucidation of pathology and assembly of treatment strategy of the severe ocular surface disease
  • International Ocular Surface Society: UK Board Member
  • EULAR Sjögren’s Syndrome Task Force Group: Ophthalmology Member
  • Associate Editor for BMJ Ophthalmology Open (BMJ publishing group)
  • Associate Editor for ‘Eye’ (Nature Springer publishing group)


  • NHS England / Department of Health Clinical Reference Group for Specialised Ear and Ophthalmology Services
  • NHS England / National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) Cross-working Group
  • Royal College of Ophthalmologists FRCOphth Part 1 Examinations Subcommittee
  • Royal College of Ophthalmologists Scientific Committee
  • Royal College of Ophthalmologists Continuing Professional Development Sub-Committee and West Midlands Coordinator
  • James Lind Alliance for the Treatment of Pemphigus and Pemphigoid


  • Health Education England West Midlands Postgraduate School of Ophthalmology Academic Lead
  • Health Education England West Midlands Postgraduate School of Ophthalmology Study and Assessment Lead
  • Member of the Regional Speciality Advisory Appointments Committee

Patient Groups and Charities


Highlight publications

Ong, HS, Minassian, D, Rauz, S, Mehta, JS & Dart, JK 2020, 'Validation of a clinical assessment tool for cicatrising conjunctivitis', Ocular Surface, vol. 18, no. 1, pp. 121-129. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jtos.2019.10.010

Khan, IJ, Ghauri, A, Hodson, J, Edmunds, MR, Cottrell, P, Evans, S, Williams, GP & Rauz, S 2014, 'Defining the limits of normal conjunctival fornix anatomy in a healthy South Asian population', Ophthalmology, vol. 121, no. 2, pp. 492-497. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ophtha.2013.09.033

Mathewson, P, Williams, GP, Watson, SL, Hodson, J, Bron, AJ & Rauz, S 2016, 'Defining Ocular Surface Disease Activity and Damage Indices by an International Delphi Consultation', Ocular Surface, pp. 97-111. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jtos.2016.08.005

Hill, LJ, Moakes, R, Vareechon, C, Butt, G, Ng, A, Brock, K, Chouhan, G, Vincent, R, Abbondante, S, Williams, R, Barnes, N, Pearlman, E, Wallace, G, Rauz, S, Logan, A & Grover, L 2018, 'Sustained release of decorin to the surface of the eye enables scarless corneal regeneration', npj Regenerative Medicine, vol. 3, no. 1, 23. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41536-018-0061-4

Chouhan, G, Moakes, RJA, Esmaeili, M, Hill, LJ, deCogan, F, Hardwicke, J, Rauz, S, Logan, A & Grover, LM 2019, 'A self-healing hydrogel eye drop for the sustained delivery of decorin to prevent corneal scarring', Biomaterials, vol. 210, pp. 41-50. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biomaterials.2019.04.013

Recent publications


Recchioni, A, Aiyegbusi, OL, Cruz Rivera, S, Rauz, S & Slade, A 2021, 'A systematic review assessing the quality of patient reported outcomes measures in dry eye diseases', PLOS One, vol. 16, no. 8, e0253857. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0253857

Rauz, S, Hodson, J & Murray, PI 2021, 'Anxiety and Depression in Inflammatory Eye Disease: Exploring the potential impact of topical treatment frequency as a putative psychometric item', BMJ Open Ophthalmology .

West Midlands Collaborative Ophthalmology Network for Clinical Effectiveness & Research by Trainees (WM CONCERT) & Rauz, S 2021, 'Evaluation of full-length nanopore 16S sequencing for detection of pathogens in microbial keratitis', PeerJ, vol. 9, e10778. https://doi.org/10.7717/peerj.10778

Butt, GF, Hassan, A, Wallace, GR, Kinoshita, S, Ahmad, S, Ueta, M & Rauz, S 2021, 'Human leukocyte antigen B*0702 is protective against ocular Stevens-Johnson syndrome/toxic epidermal necrolysis in the UK population', Scientific Reports, vol. 11, no. 1, 2928. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-82400-3

Price, E, Allen, A, Rauz, S, Tappuni, A, Sutcliffe, N, Bombardieri, M, Carty, S, Ciurtin, C, Crampton, B, Duncalfe, L, Fisher, B, Glennon, P, Hackett, KL, Larkin, G, Ng, W-F, Ramanan, AV, Rassam, S, Walsh, SB & Bowman, S 2021, 'The management of Sjögren's syndrome: British Society for Rheumatology guideline scope', Rheumatology (Oxford, England), vol. 60, no. 5, pp. 2122-2127. https://doi.org/10.1093/rheumatology/keaa870

Javidi, H, Poonit, N, Patel, RP, Barry, RJ, Rauz, S & Murray, PI 2020, 'Adherence to topical medication in patients with inflammatory eye disease', Ocular immunology and inflammation. https://doi.org/10.1080/09273948.2019.1699122

Moussa, G, Hodson, J, Gooch, N, Virdee, J, Penaloza, C, Kigozi, J & Rauz, S 2020, 'Calculating the economic burden of presumed microbial keratitis admissions at a tertiary referral centre in the UK.', Eye (London, England). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41433-020-01333-9

Ingaralingam, S, Rauz, S, Murray, PI & Barry, RJ 2020, 'Effectiveness of pharmacological agents for the treatment of non-infectious scleritis: a systematic review protocol', Systematic Reviews, vol. 9, no. 1, 54. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13643-020-01314-9

Machowicz, A, Hall, I, De Pablo, P, Rauz, S, Richards, A, Higham, J, Poveda Gallego, A, Imamura, F, Bowman, S, Barone, F & Fisher, B 2020, 'Mediterranean diet and risk of Sjögren’s syndrome', Clinical and Experimental Rheumatology, vol. 38, no. Supplement 126, pp. S216-S221. <https://www.clinexprheumatol.org/abstract.asp?a=15905>

Begum, G, Leigh, T, Courtie, E, Moakes, R, Butt, G, Ahmed, Z, Rauz, S, Logan, A & Blanch, RJ 2020, 'Rapid assessment of ocular drug delivery in a novel ex vivo corneal model', Scientific Reports, vol. 10, no. 1, pp. 11754. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-68254-1

Wu, M, Downie, L, Grover, L, Moakes, R, Rauz, S, Logan, A, Jiao, H, Hill, LJ & Chinnery, HR 2020, 'The neuroregenerative effects of topical decorin on the injured mouse cornea', Journal of Neuroinflammation, vol. 17, no. 1, 142. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12974-020-01812-6, https://doi.org/10.1186/s12974-020-01812-6

Nirbhavane, P, Sharma, G, Singh, B, Begum, G, Jones, M-C, Rauz, S, Vincent, R, Denniston, A, Hill, LJ & Katare, OP 2020, 'Triamcinolone acetonide loaded-cationic nano-lipoidal formulation for uveitis: evidences of improved biopharmaceutical performance and anti-inflammatory activity', Colloids and Surfaces B: Biointerfaces, vol. 190, 110902. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.colsurfb.2020.110902


Panthagani, J, Rauz, S & Murray, PI 2021, 'Comment on: “Controversies regarding mask usage in ophthalmic units in the United Kingdom during the COVID-19 pandemic”', Eye, vol. 35, pp. 2056-2057. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41433-020-0986-x


British Association of Dermatologists’ Clinical Standards Unit 2021, 'British Association of Dermatologists guidelines for the management of people with rosacea 2021', British Journal of Dermatology. https://doi.org/10.1111/bjd.20485

Review article

Makuloluwa, AK, Hamill, KJ, Rauz, S, Bosworth, L, Haneef, A, Romano, V, Williams, RL, Dartt, DA & Kaye, SB 2021, 'The conjunctival extracellular matrix, related disorders and development of substrates for conjunctival restoration', Ocular Surface. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jtos.2021.05.011

View all publications in research portal