Professor Karim Raza BA, BMBCh, FRCP, PhD

Image of Professor Karim Raza

Institute of Inflammation and Ageing
Arthritis Research UK Professor of Rheumatology and Honorary Consultant Rheumatologist

Contact details

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

Karim Raza is Arthritis Research UK Professor of Rheumatology at the University of Birmingham and Honorary Consultant Rheumatologist and Director of Research and Development at Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust.

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.


FRCP 2009

PhD, University of Birmingham,  2004

BMBCh, Oxford University,  1993

BA (Physiological Sciences), Oxford University, 1990


Professor Karim Raza plays an active role in teaching clinical rheumatology to 3rd and 4th year 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. In addition, his research group includes PhD students, whose supervision and teaching he plays a central role in.

Postgraduate supervision

Professor Raza has supervised  many clinical and non-clinical research fellows through to successful completion of their PhDs


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 include:

  1. Director of Research and Development at Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust (2014-present).
  2. Co-chair of the EULAR Study Group on Risk Factors for Rheumatoid Arthritis rheumatoid arthritis (2011-2018).

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). 
  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)

Patient and Public involvement in research:

Patients and members of the public play an important role in the development, delivery and dissemination of my 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.


Jeffery LE, Henley P, Marium N, Filer A, Sansom DM, Hewison M and Raza K(2017). Decreased sensitivity to 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 in T cells from the rheumatoid joint. J Autoimmun. pii: S0896-8411(17)30420-1. doi: 10.1016/j.jaut.2017.10.001. [Epub ahead of print]

Falahee M, Simons G, Buckley CD, Hansson M, Stack RJ and Raza K (2016). Patients' perceptions of their relatives' risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis and of the potential for risk communication, prediction and modulation. Arthritis Care Res. doi: 10.1002/acr.23179. [Epub ahead of print]

Hardy RS, Doig CL, Hussain Z, Leary MO, Morgan SA, Pearson MJ, Naylor A, Jones SW, Filer A, Stewart PM, Buckley CD, Lavery GG, Cooper MS and Raza K 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 within muscle protects against the adverse effects of local inflammation. J Pathol. 2016;240:472-83.

Juarez M, Bang H, Hammar F, Reimer U, Dyke B, Sahbudin I, Buckley CD, Fisher B, Filer A and Raza K (2015) Identification of novel anti-acetylated vimentin antibodies in patients with early inflammatory arthritis. Ann Rheum Dis [Epub ahead of print]

Nanus DE, Filer AD, Yeo L, Scheel-Toellner D, Hardy R, Lavery GG, Stewart PM, Buckley CD, Tomlinson JW, Cooper MS and Raza K (2015) Differential glucocorticoid metabolism in patients with persistent versus resolving inflammatory arthritis. Arthritis Res Ther 17:121

Nanus DE, Filer AD, Hughes B, Fisher BA, Taylor PC, Stewart PM, Buckley CD, McInnes I, Cooper MS and Raza K (2015) TNFα regulates cortisol metabolism in vivo in patients with inflammatory arthritis. Ann Rheum Dis 74(2):464-9

Young SP, KapoorSR, Viant MR, Byrne JJ, Filer A, Buckley CD, Kitas GD and Raza K (2013) The impact of inflammation on metabolomic profiles in patients with arthritis. Arthritis Rheum 65(8):2015-23

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 and Tak PP (2012) 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 71(5):638-41

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 and Buckley CD (2011) Delays in assessment of patients with rheumatoid arthritis: variations across Europe. Ann Rheum Dis 70(10):1822-5

Cader MZ, Filer A, Hazlehurst J, de Pablo P, Buckley CD and Raza K (2011) Performance of the 2010 ACR / EULAR criteria for rheumatoid arthritis: comparison to 1987 ACR criteria in a very early synovitis cohort. Ann Rheum Dis 70(6):949-55

Filer A,de Pablo P, Allen G, Nightingale P, Jordan A, Jobanputra P, Bowman S,Buckley CD and Raza K (2011) Utility of ultrasound joint counts in the prediction of rheumatoid arthritis in patients with very early synovitis. Ann Rheum Dis 70(3):500-7

View all publications in research portal


Rheumatoid Arthritis