Professor Karim Raza BA, BMBCh, FRCP, PhD

Karim Raza

Institute of Inflammation and Ageing
Professor of Rheumatology supported by Versus Arthritis

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 Rheumatology within the Institute of Inflammation and Ageing at the University of Birmingham where he is Head of the Rheumatology Research Group.

Professor Raza has an active NHS clinical practice, working as an Honorary Consultant Rheumatologist at Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust with a specialist interest in inflammatory arthritis.

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, and is a Theme Lead within the NIHR Birmingham Biomedical Research Centre.


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


  • Co-lead for clinical Rheumatology teaching for Year 4 medical students at the University of Birmingham
  • At a postgraduate level, he teaches on several postgraduate courses and supervises doctors on the Academic Clinical Training program.

Postgraduate supervision


Professor Raza leads the Birmingham Early Arthritis Cohort

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.

Patient and Public involvement in research

Patients and members of the public play an important role in the development, delivery and dissemination of Professor Raza’s research, enhancing its relevance and impact. Professor Raza has been instrumental in establishing the Birmingham Rheumatology Research Patient Partnership (R2P2) which has 40 active members and provides crucial input into clinical and translational studies across the Rheumatology Research Group.

Other activities

Positions of responsibility include

  1. Director of Research and Development at Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust (2014-2018).
  2. Co-chair of the EULAR Study Group on Risk Factors for Rheumatoid Arthritis rheumatoid arthritis (2011-2018).
  3. Co-lead for Outputs for Unit of Assessment 1 for the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021 at the University of Birmingham.

Committee membership

  1. Member of the Arthritis Research UK Clinical Studies Central Progress Review Committee (2009- 2013) and of the Arthritis Research UK Research sub-committee (2013-2017).
  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’ (2015-16).
    2. ‘EULAR classification criteria for arthralgia that is clinically suspect for progression to rheumatoid arthritis’ (2015-16).
    3. ‘Update of the 2007 EULAR recommendations for the management of early arthritis’ (2015-16).
    4. EULAR Points to Consider for conducting clinical trials in individuals at-risk of rheumatoid arthritis (current).
    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)
  3. Member of the British Society for Rheumatology’s Research Committee (2014-2018). 

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


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.

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.

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.

Wells, I, Zemedikun, D, Simons, G, Stack, R, Mallen, CD, Raza, K & Falahee, M 2023, 'Predictors of the likelihood that patients with rheumatoid arthritis will communicate information about rheumatoid arthritis risk to relatives: a quantitative assessment', Patient Education and Counseling, vol. 112, 107713.

Simons, G, Veldwijk, J, DiSantostefano, R, Englbrecht, M, Radawski, C, Karin, SB, Valor Mendez, L, Hauber, B, Raza, K & Falahee, M 2023, 'Preferences for preventive treatments for rheumatoid arthritis: discrete choice survey in the United Kingdom, Germany, and Romania', Rheumatology, vol. 62, no. 2, keac397, pp. 596–605.

Wells, I, Simons, G, Kanacherril, JP, Mallen, C, Raza, K & Falahee, M 2023, 'Stakeholder perceptions of preventive approaches to rheumatoid arthritis: Qualitative study of healthcare professionals' perspectives on predictive and preventive strategies', BMC Rheumatology. <>

Simons, G, Birch, B, Stocks, J, Insch, E, Rijckborst, R, Neag, G, McColm, H, Romaniuk, L, Wright, C, Phillips, BE, Jones, S, Pratt, AG, Siebert, S, Raza, K & Falahee, M 2023, 'The Student Patient Alliance: Development and formative evaluation of an initiative to support collaborations between patient and public involvement partners and doctoral students', BMC Rheumatology. <>

Fenton, CG, Crastin, A, Martin, CS, Suresh, S, Montagna, I, Hussain, B, Naylor, AJ, Jones, SW, Hansen, MS, Gorvin, CM, Price, M, Filer, A, Cooper, MS, Lavery, GG, Raza, K & Hardy, RS 2022, '11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 within osteoclasts mediates the bone protective properties of therapeutic corticosteroids in chronic inflammation', International Journal of Molecular Sciences, vol. 23, no. 13, 7334, pp. 7334.

Simons, G, Janssen, E, Veldwijk, J, DiSantostefano, RL, Englbrecht, M, Radawski, C, valor-mendez, L, Humphreys, J, Bruce, IN, Hauber, B, Raza, K & Falahee, M 2022, 'Acceptable risks of treatments to prevent rheumatoid arthritis amongst first-degree relatives: demographic and psychological predictors of risk tolerances', RMD Open, vol. 8, no. 2, e002593.

Zemedikun, DT, Lee, H, Nirantharakumar, K, Raza, K, Chandan, JS, Lord, JM & Jackson, TA 2022, 'Comorbidity phenotypes and risk of mortality in patients with osteoarthritis in the UK: a latent class analysis', Arthritis Research & Therapy, vol. 24, no. 1, 231.


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.

Review article

Wells, I, Simons, G, Davenport, C, Mallen, CD, Raza, K & Falahee, M 2022, 'Acceptability of predictive testing for ischemic heart disease in those with a family history and the impact of results on behavioural intention and behaviour change: a systematic review', BMC Public Health, vol. 22, no. 1, 1751.

Fletcher, J, Bishop, E, Harrison, S, Williamson-Swift, A, Cooper, SC, Dimeloe, S, Raza, K & Hewison, M 2022, 'Autoimmune disease and interconnections with vitamin D', Endocrine Connections, vol. 11, no. 3, e210554.

View all publications in research portal


Rheumatoid Arthritis