Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
Prof Julian Thumboo

Prof Julian Thumboo

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

Senior Consultant

Research Director and Senior Consultant Rheumatologist
Director, Health Services Research Unit

Singapore General Hospital

Specialty: Rheumatology & Immunology

Clinical Interest: Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

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

Clinical Appointments

  • Senior Consultant Rheumatology & Immunology Singapore General HospitalSingapore General Hospital

Academic Appointments

  • Professor, Duke-NUS Medical School
  • Adjunct Professor, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore


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. He was head of the SGH Department of Rheumatology and Immunology (2007-2014) and set up the Autoimmunity and Rheumatology Centre in SGH (2013). 

His interest in health services and other research in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, Osteoarthritis and Patient Reported Outcomes have led to over 300 publications in peer reviewed journals. Prof Thumboo was the founding Director of the SingHealth Health Services Research Centre, founding Co-Director of the SingHealth Duke-NUS Health Services Research Institute (2015-18) and founding Director of the SingHealth Centre for Population Health Research and Implementation (2022).  

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

  • Research Director, Singapore General Hospital
  • Chair, HPHSR Clinician Scientist Award Review Panel, National Medicine Research Council

Research Appointments

  • Professor, Duke NUS Medical School
  • Adjunct Professor, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore (NUS)
  • Director, Health Services Research Unit, Singapore General Hospital
  • Advisor, SingHealth Centre for Population Health Research and Implementation


  • Nestle Gold Medal (best student in Paediatrics), Final MBBS Examination (1988)
  • Ministry of Health, Singapore, Higher Medical Manpower Development Program Award (1996, 2009) 
  • Singapore General Hospital, SMILE Award (2006), the SGH Service with a Heart Award (2004, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2021, 2023); Excellent Service Award (2004, 2006, 2011) and Singapore Health Quality Service Award, Star Award (2010, 2011), Gold Award (2006) 
  • Duke-NUS Medical School Appreciation Award for Outstanding Motivator (2010) Singapore, Outstanding Faculty for Learning Award (2013) 
  • Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore, Role Model Award 2013 
  • RISE (Residency In Singhealth Excels award), SingHealth, Singapore, Outstanding Faculty Award 2014 
  • SingHealth Excellence Awards for Distinguished Researcher (2014) and Distinguished Mentor (2022)
  • SingHealth Shine Award 2017 
  • Duke-NUS Master Academic Clinician Award (2022)
  • Ministry of Health Distinguished Senior Clinician Award (2022)
  • Public Administration Medal (Bronze) (2022).
  • Ministry of Health National Medical Excellence Award: Outstanding Clinician Mentor (2023)

Research Interests

  • Health Services Research, with a focus on Patient Reported Outcome Measures
  • Systemic Lupus Erythematosus
  • Osteoarthritis


  1. Thumboo J, O'Duffy JD. A prospective study of the safety of joint and soft tissue injections in  subjects taking warfarin sodium..  Arthritis Rheum. 1998; 41:736-739
  2. Thumboo J, Fong KY, Chng HH, Koh ET, Chia HP, Leong Khet al.  The Effects of Ethnicity on Disease Patterns in 472 Orientals with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus. J Rheumatol. 1998; 25:1299-304.
  3. Thumboo J, Uramoto K, Sunku J, O'Fallon WM, Fong KY, Boey ML et al. A Comparative Study of the Clinical Manifestations of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus in Caucasians in Rochester, MN and Chinese in Singapore from 1980 to 1992. Arthritis Rheum. 2001:45:494-500
  4. Xie F, Li SC, Fong KY, Lo NN, Yeo SJ, Yang KY, Thumboo J. What health domains and items are important to patients with knee osteoarthritis? A focus group study in a multiethnic urban Asian population. Osteoarthritis Cartilage. 2006;14:224-30
  5. Letchumanan P, Ng HJ, Lee LH, Thumboo J.  A comparison of thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura in an inception cohort of patients with and without systemic lupus erythematosus. Rheumatology (Oxford). 2009;48:399-403
  6. Ko Y, Narayanasamy S, Wee HL, Lo NN, Yeo SJ, Yang KY, Yeo W, Chong HC, Thumboo J. Health-related quality of life after total knee replacement or unicompartmental knee arthroplasty in an urban Asian population. Value Health 2011;14:322-8
  7. Ng X, Low AH, Thumboo J. Comparison of the Charlson Comorbidity Index derived from self-report and medical record review in Asian patients with rheumatic diseases. Rheumatol Int. 2015;35:2005-11
  8. Thumboo J, Ow MYL, Uy EJB, Xin X, Chan ZYC, Sung SC, et al. Developing a comprehensive, culturally sensitive conceptual framework of health domains in Singapore. PLoS One. 2018;13:e0199881
  9. Xiang L, Teo EPS, Low AHL, Leung YY, Fong W, Xin X, Gandhi M, Kwan YH, Uy EJB, Sparks JA, Karlson EW, Thumboo J. Cross-cultural adaptation of the connective tissue disease screening questionnaire and development of a Chinese version in a multi-ethnic Asian population. Clin Rheumatol. 2019;38:2383-2397.
  10. Leung YY, Uy EJB, Bautista DC, Pua YH, Kwan YH, Cheung YB, Xiao Y, Chua TSJ, Thumboo J. Calibration of a physical functioning item bank for measurement of health-related quality of life in Singapore. Qual Life Res. 2020;29:2823-2833.
  11. Xiang L, Low AHL, Leung YY, Fong W, Gandhi M, Xin X, Uy EJ, Sparks JA, Karlson EW, Thumboo J. Improving sensitivity of the connective tissue disease screening questionnaire: A comparative study of various scoring methods. Lupus. 2021;30:35-44.
  12. Xiang L, Fong W, Low AHL, Leung YY, Gandhi M, Xin X, Uy EJB, Hamilton L, Thumboo J. Early identification of axial spondyloarthritis in a multiethnic Asian population. Clin Rheumatol. 2022r;41:1095-1103.

Selected from over 300 publications

Research Trials