Bruce completed a Science degree at the University of Melbourne and began his career in 1971 making penicillin at the Commonwealth Serum Laboratories. Bruce moved to Miami, Florida in 1976 to complete a Doctorate of Philosophy (PhD) in Biochemistry, and then moved to the Tumour Virus Department at the Cold Spring Harbour Laboratory in New York to undertake research In Molecular Virology. In 1982 Bruce returned to Melbourne to the Fairfield Infectious Diseases Hospital to lead a research team using molecular biological approaches to the development of a vaccine for the Hepatitis A Virus. After several years at Fairfield Hospital, Bruce moved into industrial biotechnology research before joining RMIT University as an Associate Professor and ICI Research Fellow in Environmental Biotechnology. Bruce also served several years as a lecturer and Adjunct Associate Professor in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the University of Melbourne.
Bruce joined the Rotary Club of Strathmore, Victoria in 2007 and served in various club and district roles before becoming District Governor for D9790 in 2020-2021. At the national level, Bruce is the National Scientific Committee Coordinator for Rotarians Against Malaria (RAM) and a member of the Board of Rotary Australia World Community Service (RAWCS).
Bruce has been a member of the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) for more than forty years and was recently recognised as an Emeritus Member.