Luke Jackel-David awarded the Aleks and Elise Brumby Summer Research Scholarship

Last summer, while many students enjoyed a break, proud Kulkalgal man Mr Luke Jackel-David joined a select group of UQ Summer Research Program scholars and took home the Aleks and Elise Brumby Summer Research Scholarship.  

The scholarship is awarded to the Summer Research Program scholar with the highest academic merit and research potential at UQ’s Queensland Brain Institute (QBI).  

Mr Jackel-David welcomed the opportunity to conduct research at QBI and said being awarded the scholarship made the experience even more inspiring.  

“I spent ten weeks at QBI under the supervision of Dr Reuben Rideaux, one of Australia’s top young neuroscientists, in the Mattingley Lab,” Mr Jackel-David said.  

“Given the calibre of student research happening at QBI, receiving this scholarship was thrilling.” 

Mr Jackel-David’s research project focused on unconscious decision-making. 

“We aimed to establish a model that encompassed the behavioural consequences of speed and accuracy when the expectations of individuals were violated.  

“During our research, we discovered that people responded faster and more accurately to our task after viewing an unexpected stimulus. 

“This shows the brain devotes more cognitive resources to new information that violates its predictive coding model, enhancing our learning more efficiently and quickly.” 

Luke is a medical student and is considering psychiatry as a medical specialty.  

“I am interested in further research in psychiatry and brain health and want to pursue opportunities to improve community access to mental health services,” said Mr Jackel-David.  

“Programs like UQ’s Summer Research Scholars reinforce the importance of undertaking research later in my career. 

“The Summer Research program helped me build research and critical thinking skills and deepened my knowledge of my chosen speciality.  

“I chose this summer project at QBI because it was closely related to my future field of interest. 

“Through the experience, I’m gaining skills to contribute towards change within the health system and provide a valid voice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in creating this change. 

“As a Torres Strait Islander with heritage from Iama (Yam) Island, I saw disadvantage and adversity growing up.  

“I’ve experienced discrimination many times within the health system, workplaces, and social groups, and that’s made me realise the impact of mental health on life outcomes.  

“I’ve also seen the success achieved within relationships, personal growth, and achievement by improving your mental health.  

“That’s why I did an undergraduate degree in psychology, paving the way to a Doctor of Medicine to learn about health more holistically. 

“I firmly believe mental health is the foundation that equips individuals to thrive in all aspects of their life.  

“My ambition is to ensure Indigenous perspectives are valued and integrated within the healthcare system to promote a more equitable and effective landscape for mental health care. 

“In my view, pursuing a career as a medical specialist will amplify the validity of Indigenous voices I will represent from our communities,” Mr Jackel-David said. 

The Aleks and Elise Brumby Summer Research Scholarship was established by Glen and Aija Brumby after the loss of their two children, Aleks and Elise.  

Since 2011, the Brumbys have chosen to give back to promising QBI neuroscience research in memory of their children.  

Many of the previous recipients of the Aleks and Elise Brumby Summer Research Scholarship have used the opportunity as a platform to build their careers: 

Clara Tang (2011/12) 

Daniel Czech (2012/13) 

Luke Sartor (2013/14) 

Sophie Hudson (2014/15) 

Tas Jouir (2015/2016) 

Nicole Lamb (2017/2018) 

Ethan Campi (2018/2019)  

Micaela Dear (2019/20) – Research Assistant at QBI  

Daniel Campbell (2020/2021)  

Tianlan (Tina) Cai (2021/2022) 

Luke Jackel-David (2022 – 2023) 

Last updated:
5 July 2023