Professor Karim Raza BA, BMBCh, FRCP, PhD

Karim Raza

Institute of Inflammation and Ageing
Professor of Clinical Rheumatology

Contact details

Institute of Inflammation and Ageing
College of Medical and Dental Sciences
University of Birmingham
Queen Elizabeth Hospital
B15 2WB

Karim Raza is Professor of Clinical Rheumatology in the Rheumatology Research Group within the Institute of Inflammation and Ageing at the University of Birmingham. 

Professor Raza has an active NHS clinical practice having worked as an Honorary Consultant Rheumatologist at Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust until September 2023 and from October 2023 as a Consultant Rheumatologist at Hywel Dda University Health Board, based in Aberystwyth.

Professor Raza 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.


  • FRCP 2009
  • PhD, University of Birmingham, 2004
  • BMBCh, Oxford University, 1993
  • BA (Physiological Sciences), Oxford University, 1990


Positions have included:

  • Lead for Rheumatology for the University of Birmingham's MBChB programme (2019-2023).

Postgraduate supervision

Positions have included:

  • Academic Representative on the West Midlands Clinical Rheumatology Training Committee (2017-2023)
  • Lead for the Kenedy Trust funded Birmingham MB PhD programme lead (2020-2023)


Professor Raza’s 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.
  5. Perspectives of patients and members of the public about RA and the concept of ‘risk’ in relation to RA to facilitate informed engagement with predictive and early treatment strategies.

Other activities

Positions of responsibility have included:

  1. Director of Research and Development at Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust (2014-2018).
  2. Head of the Rheumatology Research Group at the University of Birmingham (2021-2023).

Committee membership

  1. Member of the Arthritis Research UK Clinical Studies Central Progress Review Committee (2009- 2013), the Arthritis Research UK Research sub-committee (2013-2017) and the Versus Arthritis Fellowship Committee (2022-2023).
  2. Member of the following EULAR taskforces:
    1. ‘EULAR recommendations for the standardised content and structure of minimum data collection to harmonise observational research in rheumatoid arthritis’ (reported 2016).
    2. ‘EULAR classification criteria for arthralgia that is clinically suspect for progression to rheumatoid arthritis’ (reported 2016).
    3. ‘Update of the 2007 EULAR recommendations for the management of early arthritis’ (reported 2016).
    4. EULAR Points to Consider for conducting clinical trials in individuals at-risk of rheumatoid arthritis (reported 2021).
    5. EULAR Recommendations for the use and interpretation of laboratory diagnostic tests for the management of systemic autoimmune rheumatic diseases (current).
    6. EULAR tools to predict RA in clinically suspect arthralgia patients (current)

Editorial Board membership

Member of the Editorial board for Rheumatology (2011-2015) and for RMD Open (2017-present)


Highlight publications

Wei, K, Korsunsky, I, Marshall, JL, Gao, A, Watts, GFM, Major, T, Croft, AP, Watts, J, Blazar, PE, Lange, JK, Thornhill, TS, Filer, A, Raza, K, Donlin, LT, Accelerating Medicines Partnership Rheumatoid Arthritis and Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (AMP RA/SLE) Consortium, Siebel, CW, Buckley, CD, Raychaudhuri, S & Brenner, MB 2020, 'Notch signalling drives synovial fibroblast identity and arthritis pathology', Nature, vol. 582, no. 7811, pp. 259–264.

Nijjar, JS, Morton, FR, Bang, H, Buckley, C, van der Heijde, D, Gilmour, A, Paterson, C, McInnes, IB, Porter, D, Raza, K & Scottish Early Rheumatoid Arthritis Inception Cohort Investigators 2021, 'The impact of autoantibodies against citrullinated, carbamylated, and acetylated peptides on radiographic progression in patients with new-onset rheumatoid arthritis: an observational cohort study', The Lancet Rheumatology, vol. 3, no. 4, pp. e284-e293.

Fenton, C, Doig, C, Fareed, S, Naylor, A, Morrell, AP, Addison, O, Wehmeyer, C, Buckley, C, Cooper, MS, Lavery, G, Raza, K & Hardy, R 2019, '11β-HSD1 Plays a critical role in trabecular bone loss associated with systemic glucocorticoid therapy', Arthritis Research & Therapy, vol. 21, no. 1, 188.

Filer, A, Ward, LSC, Kemble, S, Davies, C, Munir, H, Rogers, R, Raza, K, Buckley, C, Nash, G & McGettrick, H 2017, 'Identification of a transitional fibroblast functional phenotype in very early rheumatoid arthritis', Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, vol. 76, no. 12, pp. 2105-2112.

Juarez, M, Bang, H, Hammar, F, Reimer, U, Dyke, B, Sahbudin, I, Buckley, C, Fisher, B, Filer, A & Raza, K 2016, 'Identification of novel antiacetylated vimentin antibodies in patients with early inflammatory arthritis', Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, vol. 75, no. 6, pp. 1099-1107.

Recent publications


Cope, A, Jasenecova, M, Vasconcelos, J, Filer, A, Raza, K, Qureshi, S, D'Agostino, M-A, McInnes, IB, Isaacs, J, Pratt, AG, Fisher, B, Buckley, CD, Emery, P, Ho, P, Buch, MH, Ciurtin, C, van Schaardenburg, D, Huizinga, TWJ, Toes, R, Georgiou, E, Kelly, J, Murphy, CL, Prevost, AT & APIPPRA Study Investigators 2024, 'Abatacept in individuals at high risk of rheumatoid arthritis (APIPPRA): a randomised, double-blind, multicentre, parallel, placebo-controlled, phase 2b clinical trial', The Lancet.

DiSantostefano, RL, Simons, G, Englbrecht, M, Humphreys, JH, Bruce, IN, Bywall, KS, Radawski, C, Raza, K, Falahee, M & Veldwijk, J 2024, 'Can the General Public Be a Proxy for an “At-Risk” Group in a Patient Preference Study? A Disease Prevention Example in Rheumatoid Arthritis', Medical Decision Making, vol. 44, no. 2, pp. 189-202.

Martin, CS, Crastin, A, Sagmeister, MS, Kalirai, MS, Turner, JD, MacDonald, L, Kurowska-Stolarska, M, Scheel-Toellner, D, Taylor, AE, Gilligan, LC, Storbeck, K, Price, M, Gorvin, CM, Filer, A, Mahida, R, Clark, AR, Jones, SW, Raza, K, Hewison, M & Hardy, RS 2024, 'Inflammation Dynamically Regulates Steroid Hormone Metabolism and Action within Macrophages in Rheumatoid Arthritis  ', Journal of Autoimmunity, vol. 147, 103263.

Torlinska, B, Raza, K, Filer, A, Jutley, G, Sahbudin, I, Singh, R, De Pablo, P, Rankin, E, Rhodes, B, Amft, EN, Justice, E, McGrath, C, Baskar, S, Trickey, J, Calvert, M & Falahee, M 2024, 'Predictors of quality of life, functional status, depression and fatigue in early arthritis: Comparison between clinically suspect arthralgia, unclassified arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis', BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, vol. 25, no. 1, 307.

D'Elia, A, Baranskaya, A, Haroon, S, Hammond, B, Adderley, N, Nirantharakumar, K, Chandan, J, Falahee, M & Raza, K 2024, 'Prodromal symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis in a primary care database: variation by ethnicity and socioeconomic status', Rheumatology.

Bishop, EL, Gudgeon, N, Fulton-Ward, T, Stavrou, V, Roberts, J, Boufersaoui, A, Tennant, DA, Hewison, M, Raza, K & Dimeloe, S 2024, 'TNF-α signals through ITK-Akt-mTOR to drive CD4+ T cell metabolic reprogramming, which is dysregulated in rheumatoid arthritis', Science signaling, vol. 17, no. 833, eadg5678.

Thompson, KN, Bonham, KS, Ilott, NE, Britton, GJ, Colmenero, P, Bullers, SJ, McIver, LJ, Ma, S, Nguyen, LH, Filer, A, Brough, I, Pearson, C, Moussa, C, Kumar, V, Lam, LH, Jackson, MA, Pawluk, A, Kiriakidis, S, Taylor, PC, Wedderburn, LR, Marsden, BD, Young, S, Littman, DR, Faith, JJ, Pratt, AG, Bowness, P, Raza, K, Powrie, F & Huttenhower, C 2023, 'Alterations in the gut microbiome implicate key taxa and metabolic pathways across inflammatory arthritis phenotypes', Science Translational Medicine, vol. 15, eabn47.

Accelerating Medicines Partnership Program: RA/SLE Network, Weisenfeld, D, Zhang, F, Donlin, L, Jonsson, AH, Apruzzese, W, Campbell, D, Rao, DA, Wei, K, Holers, VM, Gravallese, E, Moreland, L, Goodman, S, Brenner, M, Raychaudhuri, S, Filer, A, Anolik, J, Bykerk, V & Liao, KP 2023, 'Associations between rheumatoid arthritis clinical factors with synovial cell types and states', Arthritis & Rheumatology (Hoboken).

Pucino, V, Nefla, M, Gauthier, V, Alsaleh, G, Clayton, SA, Marshall, J, Filer, A, Clark, AR, Raza, K & Buckley, CD 2023, 'Differential effect of lactate on synovial fibroblast and macrophage effector functions', Frontiers in immunology, vol. 14, 1183825.

Sahbudin, I, Singh, R, Trickey, J, Baranskaya, A, Tracy, A, Raza, K, Filer, A, Jowett, S & Boonen, A 2023, 'Is symptom duration before DMARD therapy a determinant of direct and indirect costs in DMARD-naïve RA patients?', Rheumatology Advances in Practice, vol. 7, no. 2, rkad040.

Kang, JB, Shen, AZ, Gurajala, S, Nathan, A, Rumker, L, Aguiar, VRC, Valencia, C, Lagattuta, KA, Zhang, F, Jonsson, AH, Yazar, S, Alquicira-Hernandez, J, Khalili, H, Ananthakrishnan, AN, Jagadeesh, K, Dey, K, Albrecht, J, Apruzzese, W, Banda, N, Barnas, JL, Bathon, JM, Ben-Artzi, A, Boyce, BF, Boyle, DL, Bridges, SL, Bykerk, VP, Campbell, D, Carr, HL, Ceponis, A, Chicoine, A, Cordle, A, Curtis, M, Deane, KD, DiCarlo, E, Dunn, P, Filer, A, Firestein, GS, Forbess, L, Geraldino-Pardilla, L, Goodman, SM, Gravallese, EM, Gregersen, PK, Guthridge, JM, Holers, VM, Horowitz, D, Hughes, LB, Ishigaki, K, Ivashkiv, LB, James, JA, Keras, G, Korsunsky, I, Lakhanpal, A, Lederer, JA, Lewis, M, Li, ZJ, Li, Y, Liao, KP, Mandelin, AM, Mantel, I, Marks, KE, Maybury, M, Mcdavid, A, Mcgeachy, MJ, Mears, J, Meednu, N, Millard, N, Moreland, LW, Nayar, S, Nerviani, A, Orange, DE, Perlman, H, Pitzalis, C, Rangel-Moreno, J, Raza, K, Reshef, Y, Ritchlin, C, Rivellese, F, Robinson, WH, Sahbudin, I, Singaraju, A, Seifert, JA, Slowikowski, K, Smith, MH, Tabechian, D, Scheel-Toellner, D, Utz, PJ, Watts, GFM, Wei, K, Weinand, K, Weisenfeld, D, Weisman, MH, Wyse, A, Xiao, Q, Zhu, Z, Daly, MJ, Xavier, RJ, Donlin, LT, Anolik, JH, Powell, JE, Rao, DA, Brenner, MB, Gutierrez-Arcelus, M, Luo, Y, Sakaue, S & Raychaudhuri, S 2023, 'Mapping the dynamic genetic regulatory architecture of HLA genes at single-cell resolution', Nature Genetics, vol. 55, no. 12, pp. 2255-2268.

Veldwijk, J, DiSantostefano, RL, Janssen, E, Simons, G, Englbrecht, M, Karin, SB, Radawski, C, Raza, K, Hauber, B & Falahee, M 2023, 'Maximum Acceptable Risk Estimation based on a Discrete Choice Experiment and Probabilistic Threshold Technique', Patient.

The BIOFLARE Consortium 2023, 'Number of days required to measure sedentary time and physical activity using accelerometery in rheumatoid arthritis: a reliability study', Rheumatology International, vol. 43, no. 8, pp. 1459-1465.


Barney, K, Hagel, V, Clarke, J, Clark, AR, Abdelmottaleb, D, Raza, K, Anderson, A, Wraith, D & Scheel-Toellner, D 2023, 'Generation of a B Cell Model to Investigate the Function of FcRL4 in the Context of RA', British Society for Immunology Congress 2023, Belfast, United Kingdom, 4/12/23 - 7/12/23.


Sahbudin, I, Singh, R, De Pablo, P, Rankin, E, Rhodes, B, Justice, E, Derrett-Smith, E, Amft, N, Narayan, N, McGrath, C, Baskar, S, Trickey, J, Maybury, M, Raza, K & Filer, A 2023, 'Correction to: The value of ultrasound-defined tenosynovitis and synovitis in the prediction of persistent arthritis ', Rheumatology, vol. 62, no. 3, pp. 1356-1356.

View all publications in research portal


Rheumatoid Arthritis