George Kitas

George Kitas MD, PhD, FRCP qualified summa cum laude from the Medical School of Athens in Greece in 1985. He pursued postgraduate doctoral studies in Birmingham, trained in medicine and rheumatology in several units in the UK and was appointed Consultant Rheumatologist at the Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust (Teaching) in 1995, where he has been/is Head of Rheumatology, Clinical Director of Ambulatory Medicine, Director of Research and Development and Deputy Medical Director. He is Honorary Professor of Clinical Rheumatology at the Arthritis Research UKEpidemiology Unit – University of Manchester, of Behavioural Rheumatology at the College of Life and Environmental Sciences – University of Birmingham, and of Rheumatology, Musculoskeletal Health and Exercise at the Research Institute in Healthcare Sciences – University of Wolverhampton. From 2011 he is also Director of the Department of Rheumatology at “Hygeia” Hospital in Athens Greece. In 2011 he was Visiting Professor of Rheumatology at the Medical School of the University of Athens; in 2013 he was the “Boland” Visiting Professor of Rheumatology at the Mayo Clinic, USA. He has received Honorary Doctorates by the Universities of Thessaly and Patras in Greece, and held a silver Clinical Excellence Award in the UK. He is editorial board member of 6 international journals, acts as expert reviewer for more than 40 international journals, and is an expert evaluator for funding bodies and the quality assessment agencies for higher education and research of several countries, including the UK, France, Ireland, Greece, Italy, Spain, Hong Kong and South Africa. He leads the “Rheumatoid Arthritis Co-morbidity Research Group”, has supervised more than 10 successful PhD candidates and has authored more than 300 peer-reviewed original publications and book chapters, and over 300 published conference abstracts (current h factor 46). About two thirds of his research work is focused on the cardiovascular co-morbidity of rheumatoid arthritis. He has several million pounds in current research grants from multiple sources, including the Medical Research Council, Arthritis Research UK, British Heart Foundation and the pharmaceutical industry. He is Chief Investigator of TRACE RA, thus far the largest Academically-led multicentre prospective RCT in Rheumatoid Arthritis in the World. He is founding member of the West Midlands Rheumatology Forum, the first multidisciplinary rheumatology congress in the UK, and of the Birmingham Arthritis Resource Centre, the only community-based resource centre for rheumatic diseases in Europe. He has been Chairman of the West Midlands Rheumatology Services and Training Committee, Regional Specialty Advisor of the Royal College of Physicians, member of the British Society for Rheumatology (BSR) Council, member and vice-chairman of the BSR Heberden Committee, and Associate International Director for European affairs of the Royal College of Physicians of London. He is convenor of the BSR Cardiovascular co-morbidity Special Interest Group and member of the European League against Rheumatism (EULAR) task force on cardiovascular risk management in rheumatic diseases.