Job Properties
  • Job Type
    Full-time Position
  • Category
    Research & Science
  • Languages
  • Experience Required
  • Degree Required
    • Province
    • Date Posted
      December 26,2021
    • Entrusting Package
    • JSS
    • VISA
    • IMG_6430
    • Career Consultation

    Postdoc 'Cognitive and cerebral propagation mechanisms in Parkinson’s disease'

    3 years As a postdoc, you will study the cerebral mechanisms underlying cognitive dysfunction in Parkinson’s disease (PD). This position is part of an EU-funded collaboration between seven countries (Netherlands, Germany, France, Portugal, Israel, Canada, and Australia). The key aim of this collaboration is to understand how different neurobiological routes of cerebral dysfunction in PD link to distinct neurocomputational mechanisms of cognitive-affective dysfunction.

    PD has a long prodromal phase, in which latent cerebral changes can manifest itself as prodromal symptoms, for example idiopathic REM-sleep behavioral disorder (RBD), hyposmia, and cognitive-affective symptoms (e.g. anxiety and depression). Increasing evidence suggests that the propagation of brain dysfunction in PD may take different routes, i.e. bottom-up (brainstem-to-cortex) or top-down (cortex-to-brainstem), and that it may affect focal versus diffuse brain systems. The aim of this project is to link these different neurobiological routes of PD propagation to distinct neurocomputational mechanisms of cognitive-affective dysfunction. Our consortium will take advantage of existing longitudinal cohorts in seven different countries, where multi-modal imaging and genotyping is available. These data will be enriched by deep, online cognitive/affective phenotyping that will be performed in all patients (n=1,124). This study will, for the first time, link inter-individual differences in neurodegeneration propagation to prodromal cognitive-affective and clinical phenotypes.

    In Nijmegen, you will be embedded in the two research groups of Dr. Rick Helmich and Prof. Roshan Cools at the Donders Institute, Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging. In addition, you will be part of an international team of researchers from seven countries. We will make use of an existing, unique longitudinal PD cohort (Personalized Parkinson Project, PPP) that is being followed in Nijmegen since 2018. PPP is a single-center, longitudinal observational study in 550 early PD patients (0-5 years disease duration, 2-year observation period, yearly clinical evaluations). All patients are tested at Radboudumc in Nijmegen, and all of them are scanned twice (baseline and after 2 years) at the same 3T MRI scanner at the Donders Institute.

    We offer the exciting opportunity to work in two collaborative, social and dedicated teams at the Donders Institute, and in a unique international consortium. Your role in this consortium will provide you with an international network of excellent scientists in various disciplines, which can be a kick-start for your academic career.

    Your role in the consortium will consist of:
    • Implementing and testing a new battery of cognitive tasks in PD patients (n=40) and healthy controls (n=40).
    • Performing computational modelling to detect patterns of cognitive dysfunction in PD, and using e.g. multivariate classification to integrate results across multiple sources of data.
    • Collecting and analyzing multi-modal MRI data in these individuals to understand the cerebral mechanisms underlying cognitive dysfunction in PD.
    • Coordinating transfer of data and knowledge within the international consortium.
    • Assisting international partners in collecting data in the PPP cohort.
    • Developing new scientific approaches to test patterns of cerebral and cognitive dysfunction in large cohorts of (prodromal) PD patients.
    Working at Radboud university medical center means that you are ahead of the curve and working together on the healthcare of the future. And there is more. Our secondary terms of employment are impressive. These are fully tailored to you thanks to our Employment Conditions Selection Model. At Radboud university medical center, you will be given trust, and you will take the responsibility to handle everything together. We provide annual courses, both professional and personal.
    • In addition to your monthly salary and an annual vacation allowance of 8%, you will receive an end-of-year bonus of 8.3%.
    • If you work irregular hours, you will receive an allowance.
    • As a full-time employee (36 hours per week), you are entitled to approximately 168 vacation hours (over 23 days) per year.
    • Radboud university medical center pays 70% of the pension premium. You pay the rest of the premium with your gross salary.
    • You get a discount on health insurance as well: you can take advantage of two group health insurance plans. UMC Zorgverzekering and CZ collectief.
    In addition to our terms of employment, we also offer employees various other attractive facilities, such as childcare and sports facilities. Want to learn more? Take a look at the CAO UMC. The Donders Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging (DCCN) is a top scientific institute that is part of the Donders Institute of Radboud University. The mission of DCCN is to conduct cutting-edge fundamental research in cognitive neuroscience. Much of the rapid progress in this field is being driven by the development of complex neuroimaging techniques for measuring activity in the human brain - an area in which the Centre plays a leading role. The Centre also aims to establish how the different brain areas coordinate their activity with very high temporal precision to enable human and animal cognition. The centre is equipped with four MRI scanners (7T, 3x 3T), a 275-channel MEG system, an EEG-TMS laboratory, several (MR-compatible) EEG systems, and high-performance computational facilities.

    Our internationally renowned centre currently hosts more than 100 PhD candidates and postdoctoral researchers from more than 25 countries, offering a stimulating and multidisciplinary research environment.

    Radboud university medical center is a university medical center for patient care, scientific research, and education in Nijmegen. Radboud university medical center strives to be at the forefront of shaping the healthcare of the future. We do this in a person-centered and innovative way, and in close collaboration with our network. We want to have a significant impact on healthcare. We want to improve with each passing day, continuously working towards better healthcare, research, and education. And gaining a better understanding of how diseases arise and how we can prevent, treat, and cure them, day in and day out. This way, every patient always receives the best healthcare, now and in the future. Because that is why we do what we do.

    Read more about our strategy and what working at Radboud university medical center means. Our colleagues would be happy to tell you about it. #weareradboudumc We are looking for an enthusiastic postdoc to join our team. You have a passion for mechanistic research at the border between neuroscience and clinical neurology, i.e. cognitive and cerebral dysfunction in Parkinson’s disease. You are a team player who enjoys functioning in different research groups (of Helmich and Cools) and in an international consortium. You are curious, ambitious, and can work independently. Your English is fluent in speaking and writing at an academic level. Speaking Dutch is not required for this position.

    You also meet the following requirements:
    • You hold or have finished (and nearly obtained) a PhD degree in the field of Neuroscience, Psychology, or Medicine, or a related field.
    • You have a very solid background in neuroimaging (functional and structural MRI) and/or computational and statistical modelling, and an interest in both.
    • You have strong communication and coordination skills.
    All additional information about the vacancy can be obtained from Dr. Rick Helmich, principle investigator. Use the Apply button to submit your application.
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