A gift of hope

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Dr Kerry Dowsett’s curiosity about how the brain functions harks back to when he was a young student studying neuroanatomy in his second year of Veterinary Science at The University of Queensland (UQ). 

Now aged 76, he continues to maintain an interest in learning and the science of brain health and has pledged a lasting gift in his will to the Queensland Brain Institute (QBI). His wife Kay, also a UQ alumni, worked as a librarian and shares her husband’s broad interest in scientific progress. She too has generously left a gift in her will to support brain research at QBI.

“We hope that all the wonderful research that we have been lucky enough to be exposed to at QBI will help eliminate the suffering associated with the terrible conditions and syndromes of the brain,” says Kerry.

Kerry and Kay Dowsett
Dr Kerry Dowsett, and his wife Kay, have pledged to leave a donation to QBI in their wills.

After graduating from the Queensland Agricultural College (which became the UQ Gatton Campus) with a Queensland Diploma in Animal Husbandry in 1963, Kerry went on to complete his Bachelor of Veterinary Science in 1970 and PhD in 1983 at UQ.

Before joining UQ as a lecturer in veterinary medicine in 1975, he worked as a husbandry officer within the Beef Cattle Husbandry Branch of the Queensland Department of Primary Industries.

A keen researcher himself, particularly in the area of equine reproduction, he continued his own studies while supervising several masters and PhD students throughout his 25-year career.

In 2007 he was called upon by the Queensland Department of Primary Industry and Fisheries to work in the Equine Influenza Veterinary Investigations Section during the EI eradication program, and a year later he was awarded the UQ Gatton Gold Medal for his outstanding contribution to the profession.

“One question I have always asked ‘Is why the brain can't tell itself how it does the amazing functions that it does?’ says Kerry.

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But besides curiosity, Kerry and Kay have made their contribution for more personal reasons. Their late son, Shane, passed away several years ago after developing epilepsy in his late 20’s.

“We decided to leave a lasting gift in both our wills due to our belief that the research being carried out by QBI will lead to significant advances in curing and preventing many serious conditions of the brain,” he said.

“There are so many important conditions of the brain like epilepsy, depression, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's, strokes, concussion injuries and motor neurone disease that are causing so much distress and loss of independence to sufferers and having a lasting impact on families and society.

“As we have no grandchildren, we decided that leaving a gift to QBI was doing something of value to helping the wonderful research at QBI in our own small way. We are excited by the research and wish that we could live long enough to see it all come to fruition.”

Last updated:
18 February 2022