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A/Prof Anselm Mak

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


Dr Anselm Mak commenced his advanced physician training in Rheumatology and Internal Medicine in Hong Kong in 2003 after he graduated in MBBS from the University of Hong Kong in 1998 and obtained the MRCP (UK) in 2002. After completing his specialist training in December 2005, Dr Mak joined the NUH as a clinical rheumatologist in September 2006. He was elected Fellowship of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, Ireland and London in 2009, 2014 and 2015 respectively.

On the academic side, Dr Mak joined the NUS Clinician Scientist track in April 2008 and was subsequently awarded tenure with the University in January 2014. Dr Mak's major research areas include mechanism of early lupus-related damage in major organs, and immunopathogenesis of lupus nephritis and neuropsychiatric lupus. His major discoveries are the involvement of specific neural circuits in subclinical cognitive dysfunction related to Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE), cerebral volume reductions early in the course of SLE and their improvement with SLE treatment, and the association between bone loss, inflammation and endothelial dysfunction in lupus. More recently, Dr Mak’s laboratory has been focusing on addressing the neuropathology of lupus-related cognitive impairment using resting-state and event-related functional MR imaging, and discovery of prognostic biomarkers for SLE in collaboration with the Genome Institute Singapore, industry and pharmaceuticals. His work has been published in a number of international peer-reviewed journals including Rheumatology (Oxford), Scientific Reports, Arthritis & Rheumatism 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. Further in January 2018, he succeeded in defending his second doctoral thesis pertaining to his work on the role of CD137 ligand in lupus lymphoid and myeloid cells which awarded him a PhD from the NUS. 

Dr Mak has been representing Singapore since January 2017 as the Full Member of the Systemic Lupus Erythematosus International Collaborating Clinics (SLICC) – an international organization of lupus experts which the SLE Disease Damage Index and the latest SLE Classification Criteria were devised ( As far as editorial work is concerned, Dr Mak is the Associate Editor of the International Journal of Rheumatic Diseases (Impact factor 1.938, Clarivate Analytics 2019), as well as the Seminars in Arthritis and Rheumatism (Impact factor 5.072, Clarivate Analytics 2019). 


· Marquis Who’s Who In the World (2010-2019)

Journals & Publications

Mak A, Dharmadhikari B, Kow NY, Thamboo TP, Tang Q, Wong LW, Sajikumar S, Wong HY, Schwarz H. Deletion of CD137 Ligand Exacerbates Renal and Cutaneous but Alleviates Cerebral Manifestations in Lupus. Front Immunol. 2019 Jun 26;10:1411

Tan MKX, Heng TYJ, Mak A. The Potential Use of Metformin, Dipyridamole, N-Acetylcysteine and Statins as Adjunctive Therapy for Systemic Lupus Erythematosus. Cells. 2019 Apr 6;8(4). pii: E323

Mak A. The Impact of Vitamin D on the Immunopathophysiology, Disease Activity, and Extra-Musculoskeletal Manifestations of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus. Int J Mol Sci. 2018 Aug 10;19(8). pii: E2355

Mak A, Thornhill SI, Lee HY, Lee B, Poidinger M, Connolly JE, Fairhurst AM. Brief report: Decreased expression of CD244 (SLAMF4) on monocytes and platelets in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus. Clin Rheumatol. 2018 Mar;37(3):811-816

Mak A, Kow NY, Schwarz H, Gong L, Tay SH, Ling LH. Endothelial dysfunction in systemic lupus erythematosus - a case-control study and an updated meta-analysis and meta-regression. Sci Rep. 2017 Aug 4;7(1):7320.

*Thornhill SI, *Mak A, Lee B, Lee HY, Poidinger M, Connolly JE, Fairhurst AM. Monocyte Siglec-14 expression is upregulated in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus and correlates with lupus disease activity. Rheumatology (Oxford). 2017 Jun 1;56(6):1025-1030 (*co-first author)

Tay SH, Fairhurst AM, Mak A. Clinical utility of circulating anti-N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor subunits NR2A/B antibody for the diagnosis of neuropsychiatric syndromes in systemic lupus erythematosus and Sjögren's syndrome: An updated meta-analysis. Autoimmun Rev. 2017 Feb;16(2):114-122


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