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Prof Anselm Mak

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  • Senior Consultant, Division of Rheumatology, Department of Medicine, National University Hospital
  • Professor, Department of Medicine, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore


MMedSc(HK), MBBS(HK), MD(HK), PhD(NUS), MRCP(UK), FHKCP, FRCP (Lond), FRCP(Edin), FRCP(Glasgow), FRCPI, FAMS(Rheumatology)



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Professor Anselm Mak received his medical degree at the University of Hong Kong in 1998 and completed his training in general medicine and specialist training in rheumatology in Hong Kong before he moved to Singapore and joined the NUH Department of Medicine as an Associate Consultant in September 2006. Currently, Prof Mak is a Senior Consultant with the Division of Rheumatology, Department of Medicine, NUH. Prof Mak’s clinical interest is in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). He runs the Lupus Clinic and general rheumatology clinics at the NUH Medical Centre, in addition to providing inpatient specialist care with his clinical team. Prof Mak was elected Fellowship of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, Ireland, London and Glasgow in 2009, 2014, 2015 and 2022, respectively. 

On the NUS side, Prof Mak joined the NUS Department of Medicine as an Assistant Professor on the Clinician-scientist track in April 2008. He was granted tenure with NUS coupled with promotion to Associate Professor with the Department of Medicine, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine in January 2014. Prof Mak was subsequently promoted to a Full Professorship in January 2024. During the past 18 years, Prof Mak has been focussing his research on SLE, particularly in the areas of the epidemiology and neuropathophysiology of neuropsychiatric SLE by studying the SLE cohort established in NUH, murine lupus models and multimodal magnetic resonance neuroimaging via multi-disciplinary collaborations. His novel findings include the dysfunctional cortico-basal ganglia-thalamic circuit and altered hippocampal-amygdala uncoupling, and altered right amygdala perfusion that affects neurocognitive performance in SLE patients via multimodal magnetic resonance brain imaging, demonstrating the potential negative impact of SLE on the limbic system. His work has been published in a number of international peer-reviewed journals including Rheumatology (Oxford), Arthritis & Rheumatology, Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, Autoimmunity Reviews and Nature Reviews Rheumatology. Based on his original clinical and laboratory observation between 2007 and 2011, he defended his doctoral thesis entitled "Major Organ Damage in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus" which awarded him the higher research doctorate (MD) from his alma mater in November 2012. In January 2018, he succeeded in defending his second doctoral thesis pertaining to his work on the role of the microglia-T cell interaction in hippocampal long-term potentiation in a murine lupus model that awarded him a PhD from the NUS.

Since 2017, Prof Mak has been the full member of the Systemic Lupus Erythematosus International Collaborating Clinics (SLICC) (, and within SLICC, he is serving the steering committee that involves the revision of the Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Damage Index (SDI). Prof Mak authored book chapters in Translational Autoimmunity (vol 6, 1st edition, 2023, Elsevier) and Dubois' Lupus Erythematosus and Related Syndromes (10th edition, 2025, Elsevier). Prof Mak serves the editorial boards of Rheumatology (Oxford University Press) and Seminars in Arthritis and Rheumatism (Elsevier) as an associate editor.

In the realm of Faculty and University administration, Prof Mak is the member of the Associate Professorial Faculty Promotion & Tenure Committee (AP-FPTC) and the deputy co-chair (HBRA) of the NUS Institutional Review Board (NUS-IRB).


  • Marquis Who's Who In the World (2010-2019)

Journals & Publications

  1. Tay SH, Stephenson MC, Allameen NA, Ngo RYS, Ismail NAB, Wang VCC, Totman JJ, Cheong DL, Narayanan S, Lee BTK, Mak A. Combining multimodal magnetic resonance brain imaging and machine learning to unravel neurocognitive function in non-neuropsychiatric systemic lupus erythematosus. Rheumatology (Oxford). 2024 Feb 1;63(2):414-422. 
  2. Lee JE, Mendel A, Askanase A, Bae SC, Buyon JP, Clarke AE, Costedoat-Chalumeau N, Fortin PR, Gladman DD, Ramsey-Goldman R, Hanly JG, Inanç M, Isenberg DA, Mak A, Mosca M, Petri M, Rahman A, Sanchez-Guerrero J, Urowitz M, Wallace DJ, Bernatsky S, Vinet É. Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Women with Lupus Nephritis in Pregnancy Therapeutic Challenge (SWITCH): The Systemic Lupus International Collaborating Clinics experience. Ann Rheum Dis. 2023 Nov;82(11):1496-1497.
  3. Mak A, Chan JKY. Endothelial function and endothelial progenitor cells in systemic lupus erythematosus. Nat Rev Rheumatol. 2022 May;18(5):286-300. 
    Qian X, Ji F, Ng KK, Koh AJ, Loo BRY, Townsend MC, Pasternak O, Tay SH, Zhou JH, Mak A. Brain white matter extracellular free-water increases are related to reduced neurocognitive function in systemic lupus erythematosus. Rheumatology (Oxford). 2022 Mar 2;61(3): 1166-1174.
  4. Mak A. T Cells, Interleukin-2 and Systemic Lupus Erythematosus-From Pathophysiology to Therapy. Cells. 2022 Mar 12;11(6):980.
  5. Barber MRW, Drenkard C, Falasinnu T, Hoi A, Mak A, Kow NY, Svenungsson E, Peterson J, Clarke AE, Ramsey-Goldman R. Global epidemiology of systemic lupus erythematosus. Nat Rev Rheumatol. 2021 Sep;17(9):515-532. 

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