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 at the University of Birmingham and Honorary Consultant Rheumatologist at Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust

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


  • 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 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 (2014-2018).
  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).
  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 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.


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, 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.

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 Rheumatic Diseases, vol. 76, no. 12, pp. 2105-2112.

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.

Hardy, R, Fenton, C, Croft, A, Naylor, A, Begum, R, Desanti, G, Buckley, C, Lavery, G, Cooper, MS & Raza, K 2018, '11beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 regulates synovitis, joint destruction, and systemic bone loss in chronic polyarthritis', Journal of Autoimmunity, vol. 92, pp. 104-113.,

Raza, K, Hardy, R & Cooper, MS 2020, 'Therapeutic glucocorticoids mechanisms of actions in rheumatic diseases', Nature Reviews Rheumatology, vol. 16, no. 3, pp. 133-144.,

Recent publications


Nikiphorou, E, de Lusignan, S, Khavandi, K, Bedarida, G, Buckley, C, Galloway, J & Raza, K 2020, 'Cardiovascular risk factors and outcomes in early rheumatoid arthritis: a population-based study', Heart, vol. 106, no. 20, pp. 1566–1572.

Birch, B, Simons, G, Buckley, C, Raza, K & Falahee, M 2020, 'Development and formative evaluation of patient research partner involvement in a multi-disciplinary European translational research project', Research Involvement and Engagement, vol. 6, 6.

Fenton, C, Martin, C, Jones, R, Croft, A, Campos, J, Naylor, A, Taylor, A, Chimen, M, Cooper, M, Lavery, G, Raza, K & Hardy, R 2020, 'Local steroid activation is a critical mediator of the anti-inflammatory actions of therapeutic glucocorticoids', Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases.

Chandan, J, Zemedikun, D, Thayakaran, R, Byrne, N, Dhalla , S, Acosta-Mena , D, Gokhale, K, Thomas, T, Sainsbury, C, Subramanian, A, Cooper, J, Anand, A, Okoth, K, Wang, J, Adderley, N, Taverner, T, Denniston, A, Lord, J, Thomas, GN, Buckley, C, Raza, K, Bhala, N, Nirantharakumar, K & Haroon, S 2020, 'Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and susceptibility to COVID-19', Arthritis and Rheumatology.

Uthman, I, Almoallim, H, Buckley, C, Masri, B, Dahou-Makhloufi, C, El Dershaby, Y, Sunna, N, Raza, K, Kumar, K, Abu-Saad Huijer, H, Tashkandi, N, Louw, I & Adelowo, O 2020, 'Nurse-led care for the management of rheumatoid arthritis: a review of the global literature and proposed strategies for implementation in Africa and the Middle East’', Rheumatology International.

Bywall, K, Kihlbom, U, Hansson, M, Falahee, M, Raza, K, baecklund, E & Veldwijk, J 2020, 'Patient preferences on rheumatoid arthritis second-line treatment: A discrete choice experiment of Swedish patients', Arthritis Research and Therapy.

Chandan, JS, Keerthy, D, Zemedikun, DT, Okoth, K, Gokhale, KM, Raza, K, Bandyopadhyay, S, Taylor, J & Nirantharakumar, K 2020, 'The association between exposure to childhood maltreatment and the subsequent development of functional somatic and visceral pain syndromes', EClinicalMedicine, vol. 23, 100392.

Buckley, C & Raza, K 2020, 'The impact of the presence of autoantibodies against citrullinated, carbamylated and acetylated peptides on radiographic progression in patients with new onset rheumatoid arthritis: an observational study', The Lancet Rheumatology.

Harrison, SR, Jutley, G, Li, D, Sahbudin, I, Filer, A, Hewison, M & Raza, K 2020, 'Vitamin D and early rheumatoid arthritis', BMC Rheumatology, vol. 4, 38.

chandan, J, Thomas, T, Raza, K, Bandyopadhyay, S, Nirantharakumar, K & Taylor, J 2019, 'Association between child maltreatment and central sensitivity syndromes: a systematic review protocol', BMJ open, vol. 9, no. 2, bmjopen-2018-025436.

Serban, S, Dietrich, T, Lopez-Oliva, I, De Pablo, P, Raza, K, Filer, A, Chapple, I & Hill, K 2019, 'Attitudes towards oral health in patients with rheumatoid arthritis: a qualitative study nested within a randomized controlled trial', JDR Clinical & Translational Research, vol. 4, no. 4, pp. 360-370.

Stack, R, Nightingale, P, Jinks, C, Shaw, K, Herron-Marx, S, Horne, R, Deighton, C, Kiely, P, Mallen, C & Raza, K 2019, 'Delays between the onset of symptoms and first rheumatology consultation in patients with rheumatoid arthritis in the UK: an observational study', BMJ open, vol. 9, no. 3, 024361.

Nikiphorou, E, de Lusignan, S, Malen, C, Khavandi, K, Roberts, J, Buckley, C, Galloway, J & Raza, K 2019, 'Haematological abnormalities in new onset rheumatoid arthritis and risk of common infections: a population-based study', Rheumatology (Oxford, England).

Mosor, E, Stoffer-Marx, M, Steiner, G, Raza, K, Stack, R, Simons, G, Falahee, M, Skingle, D, Dobrin, M, Schett, G, Englbrecht, M, Smolen, J, Kjeken, I, Hueber, A & Stamm, T 2019, 'I would never take preventive medication! Perspectives and information needs of people who underwent predictive tests for rheumatoid arthritis', Arthritis Care & Research.

Review article

Pucino, V, Certo, M, Varricchi, G, Marone, G, Ursini, F, Rossi, FW, de Paulis, A, Mauro, C, Raza, K & Buckley, C 2020, 'Metabolic checkpoints in rheumatoid arthritis', Frontiers in Physiology, vol. 11, 347.

View all publications in research portal


Rheumatoid Arthritis