PhD student, In vitro surgical experimentation with electrode implants m/f

PhD student, In vitro surgical experimentation with electrode implants m/f

Published Deadline Location
15 Jan today Utrecht

Job description

As the successful candidate for this position, you will be working on the development of a new system for mitigating chronic neuropathic pain, using a new electrode implant designed in our group. For some decades now, it has been known that electric stimulation of the dorsal columns in the spinal cord (SCS, spinal cord stimulation) can block the transmission of pain signals to the brain. The current SCS-based clinical technique uses electrodes on a catheter, however, which needs to be placed within the very vulnerable epidural space. This gives rise to the risk of infection or connective tissue formation.

Our new approach (SNAP, Safe Neurostimulation Against Pain) is also based on SCS, but uses electrodes that can be placed safely outside the vulnerable epidural space. This requires a multi-electrode configuration with a feedback control mechanism, in order to produce the correct field distribution.

We plan to extend our multi-electrode method to neurostimulation and neuromonitoring of the CNS in general, and of the cortex of the brain in particular (e.g. to benefit patients with epilepsy).

This is a challenging but very rewarding project, and integrates elements from Technology (electromagnetism), Neurophysiology, Mathematical Modeling, and many aspects of Neuroscience in general. The work will consist of some mathematical and physical modeling, along with practical experiments on in vitro tissue samples and on post-mortem human remains from the section ward.

 

Specifications

University Medical Center Utrecht (UMC Utrecht)

Requirements

As the ideal candidate for this position, you hold an MSc in Biomedical Engineering, Biophysics, SUMMA-tech or a comparable field, focusing on the development of medical technology. You also possess strong mathematical skills and a good understanding of electric fields and basic electronics, as well as some understanding of anatomy and physiology, and a strong interest in neuroscience, neurostimulation, minimally invasive devices and surgical skills. Personal qualities like enthusiasm, curiosity, creative thinking, the ability to cooperate in a multi-disciplinary team, and motivation, are important. Furthermore, it is essential that you be willing to work extensively with post-mortem human spines, using surgical techniques to insert and test electrode implants.

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: emporary appointment for 2 years, with a potential extension to 4 years.

For this 100% post, the salary will start at € 2.422,-, the maximum salary will be € 3.103,- corresponding with the salary scale for PhD candidates (OIO). This will be a temporary appointment for 2 years, with a potential extension to 4 years.

 

Employer

The Research Group working on this specific project (SNAP)

The Research Group working on this specific project (SNAP) is an enthusiastic multidisciplinary team, consisting of Dr. Bart van Wijck (anesthesiologist and principal researcher in the field of chronic pain mitigation at UMC Utrecht), Prof. N. Ramsey (neuroscience, UMC Utrecht), Prof. A. van der Zwan (neurosurgery, UMC Utrecht) and Prof. R. Bleys (clinical anatomy, UMC Utrecht). During the second half of the project (neurostimulation and neuromonitoring of the cortex of the brain), the PhD candidate will be embedded in Prof. N. Ramsey’s research group.

The Principal Investigator, and Project Leader of the SNAP project, is Dr. Maurits Konings, inventor of the SNAP method, who has ample experience with mathematical modeling of electric field distributions from electrodes inside tissues. Dr. Konings is assistant professor at the department of Medical Technology and Clinical Physics (MTKF) of the UMC Utrecht. Together with the Utrecht University’s instrumentation facility, the MTKF has ample rapid prototyping capabilities, using e.g. wire-EDM (electrical discharge machining).

With over 1,100 beds and more than 11,000 employees, the University Medical Center Utrecht is one of the largest academic health care centers in the Netherlands. Our aim is to improve our patients’ health and to strengthen our students and employees. Whether you are a doctor or a business economist, a researcher or a SAP specialist, working with us means having a job that matters, access to the best facilities and the opportunity to grow as a professional and contribute towards innovative health care.

Scientific research at the UMC Utrecht is rooted in the world around us. We listen to people; the wishes and needs of patients come first. Together with our national and international partners, we invest in innovation and research in order to ensure that our care remains of the highest quality. Focus is pivotal in this, which is why we have concentrated our research on six programs: Brain, Infection & Immunity, Circulatory Health, Personalized Cancer Care, RM & Stem Cells, and Child Health

Specifications

  • Research, development, innovation; PhD scholarship; PhD; Technical and laboratory
  • Health
  • max. 36 hours per week
  • 2020/0045

Employer

University Medical Center Utrecht (UMC Utrecht)

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Location

Heidelberglaan 100, 3584CX, Utrecht

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Application procedure

Interested? To see the complete text of the job opening (vacancy number 2020/0045), information on our innovative working environment and to submit your application go to careersatumcutrecht.nl. For other information: phone toll-free on 0800 - 25 000 25 (only within the Netherlands).

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Apply for this job

This application process is managed by the employer (University Medical Center Utrecht (UMC Utrecht)). Please contact the employer for questions regarding your application.

Apply for this job via the employer's website

Application procedure

Application procedure

Interested? To see the complete text of the job opening (vacancy number 2020/0045), information on our innovative working environment and to submit your application go to careersatumcutrecht.nl. For other information: phone toll-free on 0800 - 25 000 25 (only within the Netherlands).

Make sure to apply no later than 27 Jan 2020 23:58 (Europe/Amsterdam).