Professor Thorburn received his PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Sydney in 1987 before completing Fulbright and National Health and Medical Research Council C.J. Martin Fellowships with Prof. Ernie Beutler at Scripps Clinic, La Jolla, California.
He returned to Australia in 1990 and is currently an NHMRC Principal Research Fellow, co-Group Leader of the MCRI Brain & Mitochondrial Research Group, an Honorary Professorial Fellow in the Department of Paediatrics at the University of Melbourne and an Honorary Fellow of the Victorian Clinical Genetics Services.
He is a Fellow and past-President of the Human Genetics Society of Australasia, a Founding Fellow of the Faculty of Science of the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia, a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences and a former Chair of the Scientific & Medical Advisory Panel of the Mito Foundation and current Mito Foundation Board Member.
Professor Thorburn has published over 200 research papers, including recent papers in Nature, Molecular Cell, Brain and Am J Hum Genet. His research focuses on understanding the genetic basis and mechanisms of mitochondrial diseases in order to improve diagnosis, treatment and prevention.
Fellow of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences