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Meet the students who have completed higher degrees at QBI

Student Testimonials

Alessandra Donato

"I carried out my undergraduate research project  at the National Research Council in Naples, Italy, where in 2012 I met my current supervisor Dr Massimo A. Hilliard who was giving a seminar. It did not take me long to realise that his lab at QBI would have represented a great setting for my doctoral research. Moreover, the rich neuroscience environment that characterizes the UQ scientific community facilitated my choice. Pursuing a PhD at QBI is not only giving me the opportunity to work in a renowned international research laboratory, which I appreciate as an invaluable experience for my future career as a scientist, but it is also letting me experience an exciting new life in Australia."

Deniz Ertekin

"I had a glimpse into  the amazing research atmosphere at QBI during my three-month summer research project in 2014. This short experience was enough to put an end to my pro/con lists and allowed me to make up my mind about where to do my PhD. After finishing my master’s degree at the University of Vienna, I came back to QBI in 2016 and started my PhD in Associate Professor Bruno van Swinderen’s lab. QBI is a magical place to do science, where you get access to top-notch facilities and latest technical equipment. However, what really distinguishes QBI from other institutes is the curious and innovative minds, who are ready to help you uncover the mysteries of the brain."

Cong Wang

"In 2013, I participated the Fudan-UQ summer exchange program at QBI for six weeks. I joined Professor Pankaj Sah’s research group and followed Dr Peter Stratton in a project studying and analysing the recording signal from Parkinson’s Disease patients. The members in the research group were always nice and patient to impart me everything about neuroscience. I really enjoyed the experience of doing research and the lifestyle as a scientist. Although my academic background is engineering, my supervisor Pankaj gave me a lot of encouragement and the opportunity to join QBI to explore the most complex and fascinating human organ — the brain! Now my PhD project is to study the roles of the medial prefrontal cortex, the hippocampus and the amygdala during fear conditioning and extinction, which I could combine neuroscience with engineering techniques. During the first year of my PhD, I always felt supportive from my advisory team and all the lab members. Here in QBI, I’m provided with abundant resources to work on my research project to unravel the mystery of fear circuits and mechanism which will help more patients in the future."

Kyna-Anne Conn

"Since the age of 15, it has always been my dream to become a biomedical research scientist. I eventually enrolled in the Bachelor of Science (Biomedical) program at UQ and along the way discovered my love for psychology, so I went on to complete a dual Bachelor of Science/Bachelor of Arts degree. This is where I learnt how well biomedical science and psychology have worked synergistically to evolve into the emerging fields of cognitive and behavioural neuroscience. It didn't take long for me to realise that this was the direction I wanted to follow and found that QBI was more than well-equipped to quench my thirst for understanding complex human behaviour. I decided to join Associate Professor Tom Burne’s lab during my Honours year and established an operant-based cognitive task in mice that had been translated from human and rat versions of a task. After I graduated, I continued my work investigating operant behaviour in rodents and have gone on to further pursue this work in my PhD, finding there to be no place better for this than QBI. This Institute creates an enriching environment where research collaborations and critiques are encouraged, and where women in science are unequivocally supported."​

Casey Linton

"I began my research at QBI after participating in the Australian Brain Bee Challenge, a high school neuroscience competition. As a state finalist, I was given the opportunity to complete a small research project in the lab of Associate Professor Massimo Hilliard. This experience was a turning point for me – it introduced me to the fascinating research undertaken at QBI and sparked an interest in studying nerve regeneration, which I have continued to pursue as a PhD student. QBI provides strong support for its students and many opportunities to interact with researchers in different fields. It is the perfect place to develop the knowledge and skills for a successful career in neuroscience."​

Daniel Bademosi

"As an international student, while studying for my Master's degree at UQ, I was opportune to be placed in different laboratories for my rotation projects and also visit the laboratories of course-work tutors. It was awesome all the way! The depth of knowledge of the group heads and their willingness to answer both tough and seemingly stupid questions and the cutting edge technology available in all the laboratories at QBI intrigued me and helped in making the decision to stay in QBI for my doctorate pursuit."

Lisa Wittenhagen

"Since I had the privilege to undertake a research internship in 2012/2013 in the laboratory of Professor Jason Mattingley at QBI as part of my Research Master I had a first hand opportunity to experience the excellent research culture at QBI. I discovered that the research facilities are world class and create an ideal environment to nurture the careers of young researchers, and not far into my internship I made the decision that I would love to come back to QBI to undertake my PhD. In my PhD I am using non-invasive neuroimaging techniques such as electroencephalography (EEG) to investigate how pre-attentive and goal directed factors interact to shape the contents of our visual awareness. I experience QBI as a research institute with exceptional standards and I appreciate the lively exchange with many research groups mediated by a number of academic and social events."

Michael Troup

"In my spare time when I was younger, I used to collect junk mail and cut out pictures of people’s heads and paste them into a collage pinned up on a cork board. I really think this started my fascination with neuroscience and made it an obvious career choice. While doing my undergraduate degree at UQ, I was exposed to lecturers working at QBI who influenced me to continue on in science and complete my Masters here. During my Masters I did research into the mechanisms of general anaesthesia and it really made me think: ‘What’s up with this stuff?’ I knew I had to pursue this question further so I’m continuing some of this work as a PhD student. The excellent facilities, staff and support at QBI make this possible. Hopefully, the training and development provided through QBI will help launch my career as a world-renowned scientist and future Nobel laureate. That will show my high school teachers who didn’t think I would amount to anything."

Student Enquiries

Mr Baron Joye
Higher Degree by Research Liaison Officer
   +61 (07) 3346 6401 (Monday, Tuesday and Friday)