Associate Professor Thomas Burne

Principal Research Fellow(Conjoint)

Queensland Brain Institute
+61 7 334 66371


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.


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Featured Publications


Book Chapter

  • Groves, Natalie J., McGrath, John J. and Burne, Thomas (2018). Adult vitamin D deficiency and adverse brain outcomes. Vitamin D: volume 2: health, disease and therapeutics. (pp. 1147-1158) edited by David Feldman, J. Wesley Pike, Roger Bouillon, Edward Giovannucci, David Goltzman and Martin Hewison. London, United Kingdom: Academic Press. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-12-809963-6.00115-2

  • Cui, Xiaoying, Eyles, Darryl W., Burne, Thomas H. J. and McGrath, John J. (2012). Developmental vitamin D deficiency as a risk factor for schizophrenia. The origins of schizophrenia. (pp. 282-299) edited by Alan S. Brown and Paul H. Patterson. New York, United States: Columbia University Press.

  • Eyles, Darryl, Burne, Thomas H.J., Alexander, Suzy, Cui, Xiaoying and McGrath, John J. (2011). The developmental vitamin D (DVD) model of schizophrenia. Animal Models of Schizophrenia and Related Disorders. (pp. 113-125) edited by Patricio O’Donnell and Wolfgang Walz. New York , NY, U.S.A.: Humana Press. doi: 10.1007/978-1-61779-157-4_5

  • Eyles, Darryl, Burne, Thomas and McGrath, John (2011). Vitamin D: A neurosteroid affecting brain development and function; implications for neurological and psychiatric disorders. Vitamin D. (pp. 565-582) edited by David Feldman, J. Wesley Pike and John S. Adams. Amsterdam, The Netherlands: Academic Press. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-12-381978-9.10032-0

  • Burne, T. H. J., McGrath, J. J., MacKay-Sim, A. and Eyles, D. W. (2006). Prenatal Vitamin D Deficiency and Brain Development. Vitamin D: New Research. (pp. 153-172) edited by Veronica D. Stolzt. USA: Nova Science Publishers Inc.

  • Mackay-Sim, Alan, Feron, Francois, Eyles, Darryl, Burne, Thomas and McGrath, John (2004). Schizophrenia, vitamin D, and brain development. Disorders of Synaptic Plasticity And Schizophrenia. (pp. 351-380) edited by John Smythies. USA: Elsevier. doi: 10.1016/S0074-7742(04)59014-1

Journal Article

Conference Publication

Grants (Administered at UQ)

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

Completed Supervision