Job Properties
  • Job Type
    Full-time Position
  • Category
    Research & Science
  • Languages
  • Experience Required
  • Degree Required
    • Province
    • Date Posted
      January 01,2022
    • Entrusting Package
    • JSS
    • VISA
    • IMG_6430
    • Career Consultation

    PhD position brain imaging and modeling

    The University Medical Center Utrecht (UMCU) has an open position for a PhD candidate on imaging and modeling the cortical vasculature of the human brain. The PhD project is part of the ‘Virtual Cerebrovascular Responses’ research program, funded by the Netherland Organization for Scientific Research under the Human Measurement Models program.

    Many brain pathologies including dementia, stroke, and small vessel disease have recently been associated with dysfunction of small cortical vessels. Cortical vessel function is dependent on their geometry, topology, and hemodynamic response to neurometabolic needs. Almost everything we know about cortical vessel function is derived from rodents, because state-of-the-art techniques to investigate these vessels are invasive and destructive. Translation of findings from rodents to humans is complicated though because of differences in cortical vessel anatomy between species. To advance human research we need accurate assessment of cortical vessel function from non-invasive human imaging, but individual small cortical vessels are invisible at the spatial resolution of non-invasive imaging techniques. The aim of the research program is to develop an empirically-informed computational model that integrates the human small vessel geometry, topology, and hemodynamic response, and that enables assessment of cortical vessel function from non-invasive MRI.

    In this PhD project you will develop a computational model of the human cortical vasculature based on ex-vivo and in-vivo measurements from the human brain. You will exploit recent breakthroughs in 3D light-sheet microscopy to image and create virtual maps the anatomy of cortical vessels in ex-vivo samples of the human cortex, and combine these maps with hemodynamic simulations. As a starting point you will use our existing computational model for hemodynamic simulations which is based on rodent data. You will further develop this model for the human brain, and validate it with highly detailed measurements of hemodynamic responses obtained from the human brain with intra-cranial optical imaging and non-invasive functional MRI at 7T.


    The University Medical Center Utrecht (UMCU) is a large academic hospital with over 12,000 employees and with strong research and education programs in imaging and neuroscience. The research will be carried out at the Radiology department and the MIND facility (Multidisciplinary Investigation of Neural Disorders) of the UMCU. Two centers of the UMCU are participating in the project: Center for Image Sciences and Utrecht Brain Center, including the departments of Radiology, Translational Neuroscience, and Neurology & Neurosurgery. You will therefore join a multi-disciplinary team of PhD students, post-docs, and staff, combining expertise in computational, cognitive, translational, and fundamental neuroscience, and neuroimaging. Our inspiring, high quality research environment focuses on brain function and state of the art imaging capabilities (7T MRI, intra-cranial electrophysiology and optical imaging, 3D light-sheet microscopy) in a medical environment with a clear mandate to improve methodology and technology and to translate research innovations into better health care.


    We are looking for an excellent candidate with an M.Sc. degree in computational neuroscience, biomedical engineering, or related discipline, with a strong interest in modeling biological systems and neuroscience. The candidate must have a good scientific background, should be highly motivated and independent, and able to work in an interdisciplinary team of scientists. Programing experience is required, and familiarity with microscopy or immunohistochemistry is an advantage.

    The monthly salary is according to the standard conditions for PhD students in the Netherlands, based on the Collective Labour Agreement Dutch Universities.

    This is a temporary appointment for four years. The position is available immediately.

    We believe in the power of a diverse team in which there is room for different skills, expertise, and social and cultural backgrounds. We invite you to respond to this vacancy.

    The salary for this 36 function is still to be determined.

    In addition, we offer an annual benefit of 8.3%, holiday allowance, travel expenses and career opportunities. The terms of employment are in accordance with the Cao University Medical Centers (UMC).

    More information

    If you have any questions about this vacancy, please contact Natalia Petridou, Associate professor, phone number: 088 75 509 19, e‑mail adress: [email protected].

    Acquisition based on this jobopening is not appreciated.

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