Dr Tom Barbour graduated in Medicine in 2004 at the University of Sydney, where he had previously obtained an Arts degree with honours in classical languages. He was a specialist trainee in nephrology at Royal Melbourne Hospital and at the Churchill Hospital, Oxford, UK, and received his Fellowship of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians in 2012. He was awarded a Kidney Research UK Fellowship in 2011, enabling him to undertake a PhD in Medicine at Imperial College, London. There, he was based at the Centre for Complement and Inflammation Research (CCIR) at Hammersmith Hospital.
His research examined the role of the complement system (an immune defense system) in kidney diseases including C3 glomerulopathy (a type of glomerulonephritis). Specifically, he worked on an animal model of C3 glomerulopathy in mice with genetic deficiency of complement factor H. He has co-authored a number of publications on topics including C3 glomerulopathy, atypical haemolytic uraemic syndrome (aHUS) and thrombotic microangiopathy after renal transplantation.
In 2015 he was appointed as a nephrologist to the Royal Melbourne Hospital, where he also plans to continue his research in the field of complement-mediated kidney diseases.