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Prof Julian Thumboo

Prof Julian Thumboo

​MBBS (S'pore), M Med (Int Med), MRCP (UK), FRCP (Edin), FAMS (Rheumatology)

Senior Consultant

Research Director, SGH & Senior Consultant

Singapore General Hospital

Specialty: Rheumatology & Immunology

Sub-specialties: Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

Conditions Treated by this Doctor:
General Rheumatology, Systemic Lupus Erythematosus.

Clinical Appointments

  • Director, Research Office Singapore General HospitalSingapore General Hospital
  • Senior Consultant Rheumatology & Immunology Singapore General HospitalSingapore General Hospital
  • Director, SingHealth Health Services Research Centre


Prof Julian Thumboo is a Senior Consultant in the Department of Rheumatology and Immunology, Singapore General Hospital. He graduated from the National University of Singapore and subsequently trained in Rheumatology in Singapore and at the Mayo Clinic.

His clinical and research interests in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, Osteoarthritis and Patient Reported Outcomes have led to over 190 publications in peer reviewed journals. Prof Thumboo currently is the founding Director of the SingHealth Health Services Research Centre and founding Co-Director of the SingHealth Duke-NUS Health Services Research Institute, and facilitates research as the Vice Chair for Research for Medicine Academic Clinical Programme.

In addition to patient care and administrative duties, Prof Thumboo has also served on the editorial boards and as a reviewer for regional and international medical journals. He has been an invited speaker at regional and international scientific conferences, and is involved in undergraduate and postgraduate teaching.


  • ​F.R.C.P., Royal College of Physicians, Edinburgh, 2001 
  • F.A.M.S, Academy of Medicine (Rheumatology), Singapore 1998 
  • Master of Medicine (Internal Medicine), National University of Singapore 1993 
  • Royal College of Physicians, United Kingdom 1993 
  • Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery (M.B.B.S.), National University of Singapore 1988

Professional Appointments and Committee Memberships

  • ​Senior Consultant, Department of Rheumatology and Immunology, Singapore General Hospital (SGH) 
  • Professor, Duke-NUS Medical School 
  • Adjunct Professor, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore 
  • SingHealth Health Service Research Centre - Director 
  • SingHealth Duke-NUS Health Services Research Institute - Co-Director 
  • Medicine Academic Clinical Programme - Vice Chair for Research 
  • Health Services Research and Evaluation, SingHealth Regional Health System - Director 
  • Health Services Research Unit, Singapore General Hospital - Director 
  • Clinician Scientist / Clinician Investigator Salary Support Programme (CISSP) Review Panel, National Medical Research Council, Ministry of Health - Chairman 
  • Complaints Panel, Singapore Medical Council - Member 
  • Rheumatology Residency Advisory Committee, Ministry of Health, SingHealth - Member


  • ​SingHealth Shine Award 2017 
  • SingHealth Excellence Awards 2014, Distinguished Researcher Award 
  • RISE (Residency In Singhealth Excels award), SingHealth, Singapore, Outstanding Faculty Award 2014 
  • Duke-NUS Medical School Singapore, Outstanding Faculty for Learning Award  2013(Clinical Core) 
  • Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore, Role Model Award 2013 
  • Invited biography listed in Marquis Who’s Who in the World (30th Pearl Anniversary Edition) 2012 
  • Duke-NUS Medical School Singapore,  Appreciation Award 2012 
  • Excellent Service Award (EXSA), Star Award 2011 
  • Duke-NUS Medical School, Singapore, Appreciation Award for Outstanding Motivator 2010 
  • Singapore Health Quality Service Award, Star Award (2010, 2011), Gold Award (2006) 
  • Singapore General Hospital Service Quality Award, Service with a Heart Award (2006, 2008, 2010) 
  • Ministry of Health, Singapore, Higher Medical Manpower Development Program Award 2009 
  • Singapore General Hospital, SMILE Award 2006

Research Interests

  • Patient Reported Outcome Measures
  • Systemic Lupus Erythematosus
  • Osteoarthritis


  • Low AH, Xin X, Law WG, Teng GG, Santosa A, Lim A, Chan G, Ng SC, Thumboo J. Validation of the UCLA Scleroderma Clinical Trial Consortium Gastrointestinal Tract Instrument 2.0 in English- and Chinese-speaking patients in a multi-ethnic Singapore systemic sclerosis cohort. Clin Rheumatol. 2017 [Epub ahead of print] 
  • Leung YY, Fong W, Lui NL, Thumboo J. Effect of ethnicity on disease activity and physical function in psoriatic arthritis in a multiethnic Asian population. Clin Rheumatol. 2017;36:125-131 
  • Low LL, Liu N, Wang S, Thumboo J, Ong ME, Lee KH. Predicting 30-Day Readmissions in an Asian Population: Building a Predictive Model by Incorporating Markers of Hospitalization Severity. PLoS One. 2016;11:e0167413 
  • Kwan YH, Fong WW, Lui NL, Yong ST, Cheung YB, Malhotra R, Østbye T, Thumboo  J. Validity and reliability of the Short Form 36 Health Surveys (SF-36) among patients with spondyloarthritis in Singapore. Rheumatol Int. 2016;36:1759-1765 
  • Kwan YH, Fong W, Lui NL, Yong ST, Cheung YB, Malhotra R, Thumboo J, Østbye T. Validity and reliability of the Health Assessment Questionnaire among patients with spondyloarthritis in Singapore. Int J Rheum Dis. 2016 [Epub ahead of print] 
  • Leung YY, Thumboo J. Fibromyalgia as a Contextual Factor Influencing Disease Activity Measurements in Spondyloarthritis and Psoriatic Arthritis. J Rheumatol. 2016;43:1953-1955 
  • Leung YY, Thumboo J, Rouse M, McKenna SP. Adaptation of Chinese and English versions of the Psoriatic Arthritis Quality of Life (PsAQoL) scale for use in Singapore. BMC Musculoskelet Disord. 2016;17:432 
  • Low LL, Liu N, Wang S, Thumboo J, Ong ME, Lee KH. Predicting frequent hospital admission risk in Singapore: a retrospective cohort study to investigate the impact of comorbidities, acute illness burden and social determinants of health. BMJ Open. 2016 
  • Tan YK, Allen JC Jr, Lye WK, Conaghan PG, Chew LC, Thumboo J. Dichotomous versus semi-quantitative scoring of ultrasound joint inflammation in rheumatoid arthritis using novel individualized joint selection methods. Clin Rheumatol. 2016 [Epub ahead of print] 
  • Tan YK, Chew LC, Allen JC Jr, Lye WK, Htay LL, Hassan A, Conaghan PG, Thumboo  J. Utility of ultrasonography in guiding modification of disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs and steroid therapy for inflammatory arthritis in routine clinical practice. Int J Rheum Dis. 2016 [Epub ahead of print] 
  • Chew LC, Chandra Mohan P, Chan LP, Fong KY, Thumboo J. Use of magnetic resonance imaging in detecting subclinical synovitis in rheumatoid arthritis and correlation of imaging findings with interleukin-18 levels. Int J Rheum Dis. 2016;19:790- 8 
  • Tan ML, Wee HL, Salim A, Lee J, Ma S, Heng D, Tai ES, Thumboo J. Validity of a Revised Short Form-12 Health Survey Version 2 in Different Ethnic Populations. Ann Acad Med Singapore. 2016;45:228-36 
  • Flint SM, Jovanovic V, Teo BW, Mak A, Thumboo J, McKinney EF, Lee JC, MacAry P, Kemeny DM, Jayne DR, Fong KY, Lyons PA, Smith KG. Leucocyte subset-specific type 1 interferon signatures in SLE and other immune-mediated diseases. RMD Open. 2016;2:e000183 
  • Wang P, Luo N, Tai ES, Thumboo J. The EQ-5D-5L is More Discriminative Than the EQ-5D-3L in Patients with Diabetes in Singapore. Value Health Reg Issues. 2016;9:57- 62 
  • Thumboo J, Wu L, Leung YY. Domains of quality of life affecting elderly patients with hand osteoarthritis: a qualitative study in the Asian perspective. Int J Rheum Dis. 2016 [Epub ahead of print]

Research Trials