Researcher biography

A/Prof Burne obtained his PhD in Neurophysiology and Behaviour, under the supervision of Professor Lesley Rogers (DSc, FABiol,FAA), from the University of New England in 1997. He went on to study behavioural neuroscience in the UK at the Babraham Institute, Cambridge, UK. His postdoctoral work with Professors Steven Rose (Open University, UK) and Lawrence Wilkinson (University of Cambridge, UK) has provided him with the foundation for a well-regarded and flourishing program in behavioural neuroscience since his return to Australia in 2002. A/Prof Burne is now part of the Queensland Centre for Mental Health Research and has been with the Queensland Brain Institute since 2005. He has published over 90 referred papers and book chapters and, in collaboration with colleagues, attracted over $3 million in grant funding (including from the NHMRC and Brain Research Foundation). A/Prof Burne is a member of the University of Queensland Animal Ethics Committee, an Academic Editor for PLoS One and on the executive committee for the Australian Society for Psychiatric Research.

A/Prof Burne’s group studies brain development and behaviour in animal models to learn more about neuropsychiatric diseases, such as schizophrenia. Research is focused on investigating the underlying biological basis for schizophrenia, with the goal of finding public health interventions that will alleviate the burden of this disease. The group has been exploring the impact of developmental vitamin D (DVD) deficiency on brain development, the impact of adult vitamin D deficiency on brain function and behaviour and, more recently, the neurobiological affects of having an older father. A/Prof Burne’s research is carried out in close collaboration with Professor John McGrath and A/Prof Darryl Eyles, in a multidisciplinary team. Together they have an integrated research program using a broad range of neuroscientific techniques to explore potential causes of schizophrenia. There is a particular focus on early life, nongenetic risk factors and the team has skills in epidemiology, psychiatry, neuroanatomy, molecular biology, developmental biology and behavioural neuroscience. The Burne group is currently developing animal models related to risk factors for schizophrenia and autism.