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We are looking for a PhD student with ultrasound contrast agent (microbubbles of 1-10 micrometer in size) or biofilm experience to develop computational modeling of the targeted microbubble-biofilm interaction for treating bacterial biofilm infections on cardiac devices. Cardiac device infections, such as on pacemakers, prosthetic valves, and left ventricular assist devices, have high mortality rates. Accurate diagnosis and treatment of these infections at an early stage is critical because a delay in diagnosis is associated with increased mortality. A targeted non-invasive treatment is also desperately needed, but currently unavailable. Targeted microbubbles can specifically bind to the bacterial biofilms, making ultrasound molecular imaging and targeted therapy possible.
You will be responsible for computational modeling the interaction between ultrasound-activated microbubbles and the biofilm to maximize therapeutic outcome. Experimental validation of the computational modeling can be part of the project. For this, you will closely collaborate with researchers investigating ultrasound molecular imaging and therapy, and in consultation with experts from the Department of Cardiology and Medical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases. Supervision of students is expected from you.
The BUBBLE CURE project will result in a novel multidisciplinary technology that allows for accurate diagnosis and treatment of cardiac device-related bacterial biofilm infections. The project is part of a new research line in translational biomedical research, made possible by a personal grant from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement No 805308) to the Principal Investigator Dr. K. Kooiman. By combining targeted microbubbles and ultrasound we aim to develop advanced ultrasound diagnostic and therapeutic technologies for cardiac-device related bacterial biofilm infections. The full project team will comprise of 6 people and is embedded in the Biomedical Engineering group, part of the Department of Cardiology.
Erasmus MC (University Medical Center Rotterdam)
Expert knowledge in the computational modeling of ultrasound-avtivated microbubbles or biofilms. Experience with experimental validation of computational modeling is highly appreciated. Candidates are expected to have an MSc in a relevant field, such as Applied Physics, Biomedical Engineering, Microbiology or related, and preferably have experience in interdisciplinary projects. You have a can-do attitude, experience with programming (Matlab or similar), a creative and pro-active attitude with good analytical skills, the ability to combine creativity with a sound academic attitude, excellent communication skills in English, both in wirting and speaking, and are a good team player. The research project should result in a PhD thesis.
Conditions of employment
You will receive a temporary position for 4 years. The gross monthly salary is € 2.422,- in the 1st year and increases to € 3.103,- in the 4th year (scale OIO). The terms of employment are according to the Collective Bargaining Agreement for Dutch University Medical Centers (CAO UMC).
Thoraxcenter Biomedical Engineering
is a group of 65 researchers performing highly innovative research in cardiovascular diagnosis and therapy. We focus on translational research in imaging with ultrasound and light, ultrasound contrast agents for molecular imaging and drug delivery, and vascular biomechanics.