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


Rayner, F, Anderson, AE, Baker, KF, Buckley, C, Dyke, B, Fenton, S, Filer, A, Goodyear, CS, Hilkens, C, Hiu, S, Kerrigan, S, Kurowska-Stolarska, M, Matthews, FE, McInnes, IB, Ng, W-F, Pratt, AG, Prichard, J, Raza, K, Siebert, S, Stocken, D, Teare, MD, Young, S & Isaacs, JD 2021, 'BIOlogical Factors that Limit sustAined Remission in rhEumatoid arthritis (the BIO-FLARE study): protocol for a non-randomised longitudinal cohort study', BMC Rheumatology, vol. 5, no. 22, 22.

Bywall, K, Veldwijk, J, Hansson, M, baecklund, E, Raza, K, Falahee, M & Kihlbom, U 2021, 'Does being exposed to an educational tool influence patient preferences? The influence of an educational tool on patient preferences assessed by a discrete choice experiment.', Patient Education and Counseling.

Mankia, K, Siddle, HJ, Kerschbaumer, A, Alpizar Rodriguez, D, Catrina, AI, Cañete, JD, Cope, AP, Immediato Daien, C, Deane, KD, El-Gabalawy, H, Finckh, A, Holers, VM, Kouloumas, M, Ometto, F, Raza, K, Zabalan, C, van der Helm-van Mil, AHM, van Schaardenburg, D, Aletaha, D & Emery, P 2021, 'EULAR points to consider for conducting clinical trials and observational studies in individuals at risk of rheumatoid arthritis', Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases.

Webster, J, Sagmeister, M, Fenton, C, Seabright, A, Lai, Y-C, Jones, S, Filer, A, Cooper, MS, Lavery, G, Raza, K, Langen, R & Hardy, R 2021, 'Global deletion of 11β-HSD1 prevents muscle wasting associated with glucocorticoid therapy in polyarthritis', International Journal of Molecular Sciences, vol. 22, no. 15, 7828.

Webster, JM, Sagmeister, MS, Fenton, CG, Seabright, AP, Lai, YC, Jones, SW, Filer, A, Cooper, MS, Lavery, GG, Raza, K, Langen, R & Hardy, RS 2021, 'Global deletion of 11β-HSD1 prevents muscle wasting associated with glucocorticoid therapy in polyarthritis', International Journal of Molecular Sciences, vol. 22, no. 15, 7828.

Mirza, M, Siebert, S, Pratt, AG, Insch, E, McIntosh, F, Paton, J, Wright, C, Buckley, C, Isaacs, J, McInnes, IB, Raza, K & Falahee, M 2021, 'Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on recruitment to clinical research studies in rheumatology', Musculoskeletal care.

Fenton, C, Martin, C, Jones, R, Croft, A, Campos, J, Naylor, A, Taylor, A, Chimen, M, Cooper, M, Lavery, G, Raza, K & Hardy, R 2021, 'Local steroid activation is a critical mediator of the anti-inflammatory actions of therapeutic glucocorticoids', Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, vol. 80, no. 2, pp. 250-260.

Wang, Y, Khan, A, Antonopoulos, A, Bouché, L, Buckley, CD, Filer, A, Raza, K, Li, K-P, Tolusso, B, Gremese, E, Kurowska-Stolarska, M, Alivernini, S, Dell, A, Haslam, SM & Pineda, MA 2021, 'Loss of α2-6 sialylation promotes the transformation of synovial fibroblasts into a pro-inflammatory phenotype in arthritis', Nature Communications, vol. 12, no. 1, 2343.

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 2021, 'Nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs and susceptibility to COVID‐19', Arthritis and Rheumatology, vol. 73, no. 5, pp. 731-739.

Siddle, HJ, Chapman, L, Mankia, K, Zăbălan, C, Kouloumas, M, Raza, K, Falahee, M, Kerry, J, Kerschbaumer, A, Aletaha, D, Emery, P & Richards, S 2021, 'Perceptions and experiences of individuals at-risk of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) knowing about their risk of developing RA and being offered preventive treatment: systematic review and thematic synthesis of qualitative studies', Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases.

Jutley, GS, Sahota, K, Sahbudin, I, Filer, A, Arayssi, T, Young, SP & Raza, K 2021, 'Relationship Between Inflammation and Metabolism in Patients With Newly Presenting Rheumatoid Arthritis', Frontiers in immunology, vol. 12, 676105.

Falconer, J, Pucino, V, Clayton, S, Marshall, JL, Raizada, S, Adams, H, Philp, A, Clark, AR, Filer, A, Raza, K, Young, S & Buckley, C 2021, 'Spontaneously resolving joint inflammation is characterised by metabolic agility of fibroblast-like synoviocytes', Frontiers in immunology, vol. 12, 725641.

Costello, R, Humphreys, J, Sergeant, JC, Haris, M, Stirling, F, Raza, K, van Schaardenburg, D & Bruce, IN 2021, 'Symptoms in first degree relatives of patients with rheumatoid arthritis: evaluation of cross-sectional data from the symptoms in persons at risk of rheumatoid arthritis (SPARRA) questionnaire in the PRe-clinical EValuation of Novel Targets in RA (PREVeNT-RA) Cohort', Arthritis Research & Therapy, vol. 23, no. 1, 210.

Chandan, J, Keerthy, D, Gokhale, KM, Bradbury-Jones, C, Raza, K, Bandyopadhyay, S, Taylor, J & Nirantharakumar, K 2021, 'The association between exposure to domestic abuse in women and the development of syndromes indicating central nervous system sensitization: a retrospective cohort study using UK primary care records', European Journal of Pain.


Falahee, M & Raza, K 2021, 'Rheumatoid arthritis prevention: any takers?', RMD Open, vol. 7, no. 1, e001633.

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