Faculty Profile

Bio-Mukaila Raji

  • Mukaila A. Raji attended the medical school at the University of Ife in Nigeria. He also completed his internal medicine residency at Washington Hospital Center in Washington, DC, USA, a Geriatric Fellowship at Duke University in Durham, NC, USA, and Master of Science Degree in Pharmacology at the University of Alberta in Canada. Dr. Raji is board certified in Internal Medicine and Geriatrics. He is a tenured Professor and Chief of Geriatrics & Palliative Medicine at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston. He is Principal Investigator on an R01 grant from NIDA and a Co-Investigator on other NIH grants. He has published over 150 peer-reviewed papers and several book chapters in the areas of dementia care, health policy, geriatric pharmacology, and therapeutics.  

    Dr. Raji is a recipient of the Sir William Osler Excellence in Clinical Teaching Awards (2006 & 2018), America’s Top Doctor Award in Geriatric Medicine (2017-2021), and the Top Texas Physician Awards (Texas Super Doctors, 2013-2021). Dr. Raji teaches medical students, residents, and geriatrics fellows and serves as attending faculty on the Acute Care for the Elders Unit, Geriatric Consults, and Geriatric Clinic Service.

    Internal Medicine – American Board of Internal Medicine 
    Geriatric Medicine – American Board of Internal Medicine 

    Honors & Awards:
    2020-21NIH Reviewer Neurological, Aging & Musculoskeletal Epidemiology Section
    2020NIH Grant Reviewer (Ad Hoc) Aging Systems/Geriatrics (ASG) Study Section
    2017-21America’s Top Doctor
    2017Professor, Neurology, Nursing, Preventive Medicine and Community Heath
    2013-21Listed in the Texas Monthly Super Doctors – Texas Top Physician
    2013Member, UTMB Academy of Master Teachers
    2013Edgar Gnitzinger Distinguished Professorship in Aging
    2012Listed in U.S. News & World Report Top Doctors in America
    2011Fellow, American College of Physicians 
    2006 & 2018Recipient, Sir William Osler Excellence in Clinical Teaching Award 
    2002Geriatric Academic Career Award, US Dept. of Health & Human Services, MD
    1994Faculty of Graduate Studies Research Award, University of Alberta, Canada
    1987Best Student Prizes: Medicine, Surgery & Medical Specialties in final M.D. exams
    1985Distinction in Pathology
    1984Faculty Prize for the Best Student in the B.Sc. (Health Sciences) degree program
    1981National Merit Award Scholarship

  • Medical/Professional School:

    University of Ife - Ife, Nigeria, MD, 1987

    Pharmacology, University of Alberta - Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, MS, 1994


    Internal Medicine, Washington Hospital Center - Washington, DC, 1995


    Internal Medicine, Washington Hospital Center - Washington, DC, 1997


    Geriatric Medicine, Duke University Medical Center - Durham, NC, 1999


    American Board of Internal Medicine, Internal Medicine

    American Board of Internal Medicine, Geriatric Medicine

  • PubMed

    NIDA/NIH R01 DA039192                        
    Kuo/Raji (MPIs) Role: Multi-PI   
    Effectiveness, toxicity, and safety of opioid and benzodiazepine substitutes

    P30 AG024832
    Volpi (PI), Role: co-investigator & Core Co-Leader- Clinical Research Resource Core
    8/01/20 – 06/30/25
    UTMB Claude D. Pepper Older Americans Independence Center

    R01 AG010939
    Markides, K. (PI), Raji Role Co-I
    9/15/2019 – 5/31/2023
    Longitudinal Study of Mexican American Elderly Health

    R01 AG061078
    Reuben (PI), Raji Role: Co-I &Subaward Clinical Director
    09/30/18 – 05/31/23
    Pragmatic Trial of the Effectiveness and Cost-Effectiveness of Dementia Care

    Reuben, D. (PD/PI), Raji Role Co-I
    04/01/2018 – 03/31/2023
    Comparative Effectiveness of Health System-based Versus Community-based Dementia Care

    R01 MD010355 
    Ottenbacher, K. (PI), Raji-Co-I
    2/10/2016 – 11/30/2021
    Long-term Health Outcomes in Older Mexican Americans with Alzheimer’s disease and Related Dementia 


    Recent Papers

    Shah R, Chou LN, Kuo YF, Raji MA. Long-Term Opioid Therapy in Older Cancer Survivors: A Retrospective Cohort Study. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2019 May;67(5):945-952. doi: 10.1111/jgs.15945. Epub 2019 Apr 26. PMID: 31026356
    Kuo YF, Raji MA, Goodwin JS. Association of Disability With Mortality From Opioid Overdose Among US Medicare Adults. JAMA Netw Open. 2019;2: PMID: 31730188 

    Nguyen C, Downer B, Chou LN, Kuo YF, Raji MA. End-of-Life Healthcare Utilization of Older Mexican-Americans with and without a Diagnosis of Alzheimer's Disease and Related Dementias. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2020 Jan 20;75(2):326-332. PMID: 30855070

    Sood A, Raji MA. Cognitive impairment in elderly patients with rheumatic disease and the effect of disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs. Clin Rheumatol. 2020 Aug 30. doi: 10.1007/s10067-020-05372-1. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 32862311.

    Shah R, Kuo YF, Baillargeon J, Raji MA. The impact of long-term opioid use on the risk and severity of COVID-19. J Opioid Manag. 2020 Nov-Dec;16(6):401-404. doi: 10.5055/jom.2020.0597. PMID: 33428186.

    Baillargeon J, Polychronopoulou E, Kuo YF, Raji MA. The Impact of Substance Use Disorder on COVID-19 Outcomes. Psychiatr Serv. 2020 Nov 3:appips202000534. doi: 10.1176/appi.ps.202000534. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33138712.

    Kuo YF, Agrawal P, Chou LN, Jupiter D, Raji MA. Assessing Association Between Team Structure and Health Outcome and Cost by Social Network Analysis. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2020 Dec 1. doi: 10.1111/jgs.16962. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33289067.

    Taha SA, Westra JR, Raji MA, Kuo YF. Trends in Urine Drug Testing Among Long-term Opioid Users, 2012-2018. Am J Prev Med. 2020 Dec 4:S0749-3797(20)30470-0. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2020.10.011. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33288392.

    Kuo YF, Baillargeon J, Raji MA. Overdose deaths from nonprescribed prescription opioids, heroin, and other synthetic opioids in Medicare beneficiaries. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 2021. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jsat.2021.108282   Volume 124;1-4; 2021, 108282 Epub January 07, 2021

    Polychronopoulou E, Kuo YF, Wilkes D, Raji MA. Prescribing of Gabapentinoids with or without opioids after burn injury in the US, 2012-2018. Burns. 2021 Dec 22:S0305-4179(21)00361-2. doi: 10.1016/j.burns.2021.12.006. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34991930.

    Garcia MA, Warner DF, García C, Downer B, Raji MA. Age Patterns in Self-Reported Cognitive Impairment Among Older Latino Subgroups and Non-Latino Whites in the United States, 1997-2018: Implications for Public Health Policy. Innov Aging. 2021 Sep 25;5(4):igab039. doi: 10.1093/geroni/igab039. PMID: 34917774; PMCID: PMC8670720.

    Milani SA, Cantu PA, Berenson AB, Kuo YF, Markides KS, Raji MA. Gender Differences in Neuropsychiatric Symptoms Among Community-Dwelling Mexican Americans Aged 80 and Older. Am J Alzheimers Dis Other Demen. 2021 Jan-Dec;36:15333175211042958. doi: 10.1177/15333175211042958. PMID: 34565200; PMCID: PMC8641300.

    Esechie A, Kuo YF, Goodwin JS, Westra J, Raji MA. Trends in prescribing pattern of opioid and benzodiazepine substitutes among Medicare part D beneficiaries from 2013 to 2018: a retrospective study. BMJ Open. 2021 Nov 18;11(11):e053487. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2021-053487. PMID: 34794996; PMCID: PMC8603279.

    Milani SA, Raji MA, Chen L, Kuo YF. Trends in the Use of Benzodiazepines, Z-Hypnotics, and Serotonergic Drugs Among US Women and Men Before and During the COVID-19 Pandemic. JAMA Netw Open. 2021 Oct 1;4(10):e2131012. doi: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2021.31012. PMID: 34694388; PMCID: PMC8546497.

    Goodwin JS, Li S, Hommel E, Nattinger AB, Kuo YF, Raji MA. Association of Inpatient Continuity of Care With Complications and Length of Stay Among Hospitalized Medicare Enrollees. JAMA Netw Open. 2021 Aug 2;4(8):e2120622. doi: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2021.20622. PMID: 34383060.

    Hommel E, Sonstein L, Raji MA. Feasibility and Effectiveness of a Quality Improvement Curriculum for Combined Medicine Subspecialty Fellows. Am J Med Qual. 2021 Jul 27. doi: 10.1097/01.JMQ.0000751760.29873.ed. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34315171.

    Downer B, Chou LN, Al Snih S, Barba C, Kuo YF, Raji MA, Markides KS, Ottenbacher KJ. Documentation of Dementia as a Cause of Death Among Mexican-American Decedents Diagnosed with Dementia. J Alzheimers Dis. 2021;82(4):1727-1736. doi: 10.3233/JAD-210361. PMID: 34219726; PMCID: PMC8384698.

    Famuyiro TB, Ogunwale A, des Bordes J, Raji MA. COVID-19: Perceived Infection Risk and Barriers to Uptake of Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna Vaccines Among Community Healthcare Workers. J Racial Ethn Health Disparities. 2021 Jul 15:1–7. doi: 10.1007/s40615-021-01093-6. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34264506; PMCID: PMC8280973.

    Tzeng HM, Raji MA, Chou LN, Kuo YF. Impact of State Nurse Practitioner Regulations on Potentially Inappropriate Medication Prescribing Between Physicians and Nurse Practitioners: A National Study in the United States. J Nurs Care Qual. 2022 Jan-Mar 01;37(1):6-13. doi: 10.1097/NCQ.0000000000000595. PMID: 34483310; PMCID: 

    Shah R, Raji MA, Westra J, Kuo YF. Association of co-prescribing of opioid and benzodiazepine substitutes with incident falls and fractures among older adults: a cohort study. BMJ Open 2021;11:e052057. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2021-052057