Postdoc in MRI acquisition for BoneMRI reconstruction
A 2-year full-time (1.0 fte) Postdoc position supported by the European Research Council funded project entitled “Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis: a perfect storm of functional anatomy, biomechanics and mechanobiology during growth?” (ScoliStorm, ERC-AdG, coordinated by Prof. K. Ito and Dr. Peter Seevinck, info and summary: https://www.umcutrecht.nl/nieuws/prestigieuze-subsidie-voor-scoliose-onderzoek#).
Your project will focus on the development and implementation of efficient MR image acquisition protocols facilitating (deep learning) reconstruction of multiple image contrasts including T1w, T2w, T2mapping, water-only, fat-only and synthetic CT. The work will be performed in close collaboration with a clinical PhD student and deep learning developers from the collaborating company MRIguidance BV. The imaging methods to be developed should facilitate the 3D characterization of both the osseous structures (vertebrae) and soft tissue structures, including the intervertebral discs and nerve tissue. Final aim is to enable non-invasive monitoring of progressing spine curvatures in 3D, as encountered in adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) during the growth spurt, currently requiring harmful x-ray based imaging modalities. During the project the developed imaging method will be utilized in a clinical study longitudinally assessing the general growth, skeletal and IVD maturity and changes to the functional vertebral and IVD anatomy in adolescent females.
This position is hosted in the Image Sciences Institute, Imaging & Oncology Division and appointed at the Dept. of Orthopaedics, University Medical Center Utrecht (UMC Utrecht). The Division has access to >10 clinical MR (1.5, 3 and 7T) and CT scanners. With one of the largest concentration of medical imaging researchers in Europe, it is internationally renowned for its research and technology development in image acquisition, image analysis, high precision imaging, image-based prognosis, and image-guided therapy.
You will work in a team of medical image analysis PhD students and staff, incl. radiologists. Development of clinical grade software under MDR guidelines will be done in collaboration with MRIguidance BV. For more information, see www.isi.uu.nl, www.imago.uu.nl and www.mriguidance.com
The Spine Unit in the Dept of Orthopedics is a global leader in scoliosis research. They have introduced an internationally recognized etio-pathogenic theory of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis focussed on the intervertebral disc, leading to many scoliosis focused publications in top 10% journals and dissertations in the last several years. The clinical practice of the department’s spine surgeons is focussed on all forms of scoliosis. In addition to the clinical studies run under this ERC project, other clinical studies pertaining to scoliosis are currently in progress which will provide ample opportunities and data for development of machine learning-based bone and IVD MR imaging.
We are looking for a candidate that has:
a PhD degree in image sciences, (applied) physics, (bio-)medical engineering or comparable.
a strong interest in MRI physics and image analysis/machine learning.
an expertise that is also proven by your track record and peer-reviewed scientific publications.
experience with MRI sequence optimization and pulse programming (this is a must)
experience with the Philips Paradise Pulse Programming environment
willingness to work beyond office hours, particularly for MRI scanning purposes.
the ability to work in a multidisciplinary research environment to contribute to team efforts and projects, and guide the research efforts of students within the group.
the ability to communicate effectively scientific ideas, foster collaboration and independent thinking.
a proven proficiency in written and spoken English.
The initial contract will be for a period of one year, which will be extended to a total of two years upon successful assessment. The salary is determined within the Dutch Collective Labour Agreement (CAO) for the University Medical Center Utrecht.
The deadline for submitting your application is August 31, 2021. Please provide your updated CV and a motivation letter and the contact details of two referees via the dedicated online form.