Dr McCombe graduated in Medicine from UQ and completed a Science degree for medical students. She then trained as a neurologist in Sydney, at Prince Henry and Prince of Wales Hospitals. She obtained a PhD from the University of Sydney. She obtained experience in Neurophysiology in Cleveland and then returned to UQ as a post-doctoral fellow. She worked for some years as a research fellow in Neuroimmunology and was an NHMRc SRF. Later she resumed clinical practice as a neurologist, and contimued her research as an NHMRC Practitioner Fellow. She is currentlyProfessor and Head of the Royal Brisbane Clinical school in the School of Medicine and Co-head of the Brain and Mental Health Theme at the UQ Centre for Clinical Research.