Julius Rocca graduated with a degree in medicine and a BA in philosophy in 1985 from the University of Sydney. MA in philosophy at the  University of Sydney followed in 1990 (Thesis: Epicurean hedonism). He practiced as a doctor, on a full-time and part-time basis, until 1996. He commenced a PhD on Galen at Sydney under the supervision of Paul Crittenden and Harold Tarrant. His doctorate, on Galen’s pneumatology, was awarded in 1996. He received a Wellcome Trust Research Award, Faculty of Classics, Cambridge (1997-1999), under the sponsorship of Geoffrey Lloyd. In 2000-2003, he was a Research Fellow in the History of Medicine at the Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, producing a text on the institute’s origins. He was elected a Research Fellow, Center for Hellenic Studies, Washington DC, academic year 2004-5. He held a Wellcome Trust University Award, Department of Classics and Ancient History, University of Exeter, 2007- 2012. During that period he co-organised an international conference on teleology in antiquity,  published by Cambridge University Press in 2017.

He is currently producing a commentary to Galen’s On the function of the parts (De usu partium), the largest surviving text of its kind from antiquity, and one which examines functional anatomy from within a teleological perspective. This work forms part of Philip Van der Eijk’s Cambridge Galen Translations project.