QBI partners with Synapse for indigenous education

The Queensland Brain Institute (QBI) has partnered with Synapse to develop an education and awareness program for First Nations high school students around the science of brain injury.

QBI Director Professor Pankaj Sah said the partnership with Synapse would give Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students an opportunity to interact with brain researchers whose discoveries were shaping the world of tomorrow.

“Through this program, QBI and Synapse to work together to lay the foundations for First Nations students to become tomorrow’s scientists, researchers and medical professionals,” Professor Sah said.

“We want to improve the students’ understanding of neuroscience, particularly the signs and symptoms of brain injury and how best to support those living with brain injuries in our community. 

“There will also be opportunities for the students to visit QBI and learn more about the type of brain research undertaken at the institute, ask questions and share their insights with QBI researchers. 

“The visit will include demonstrations of brain stimulation and the use of technology like virtual reality as a tool for rehabilitation after injury.

“The end goal of this program is to engage young scientists at a grassroots level, promoting science as an attainable career and increasing awareness about brain health.”

The partnership initiative is one of 41 community events and projects sharing more than $700,000 in funding, part of the Queensland Government’s Engaging Science Grants program.

The program aims to inspire more students to study STEM subjects, promote STEM careers and increase community awareness of science in Queensland.

QBI and Synapse will collaboratively develop tailored educational materials on brain injury and science, including information on how to recognise the symptoms of a brain injury such as concussion and associated conditions like chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).

According to Synapse CEO Jennifer Cullen, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are 22 times more likely to receive a brain injury. 

“Through this partnership, we hope to show, and not just tell, students about the career opportunities open to them and help develop the next generation of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait scientists,” Ms Cullen said. 

Last updated:
21 August 2023