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Microvascular dysfunction (MVD) is considered a crucial pathway in the development and progression of cardiometabolic and renal disease and is associated with increased cardiovascular mortality. MVD is associated with organ dysfunction (kidney, brain, eye, pancreas, heart) and may contribute to the development of diseases like chronic kidney disease, heart failure, depression, diabetes etc.
In The Maastricht Study (www.demaastrichtstudie.nl/research) we currently have functional microvascular data on the microcirculation in both retina and skin. However, we have no data yet on the architecture of the microvascular network (e.g. capillary density and distribution, tortuosity, or fractal dimensions). Combining both functional and structural data allows us to determine a personalized microvascular fingerprint which can be correlated to determinants (e.g. diabetes, BP) and outcomes (e.g. cognition, depression, cardiac function).
The main objective of this project is to develop and validate machine learning models based on quantitative analysis of skin and retinal fundus images that serve as biomarker for microvascular dysfunction and their consequential diseases, using a Radiomics approach on data from microvascular imaging in skin and retina in The Maastricht Study.
The project involves a broad spectrum of methodologies including quantitative imaging, deep learning, and modelling techniques.
This PhD project takes place within the School for Cardiovascular Diseases CARIM, and is a unique collaboration between the department of Internal Medicine and the D-Lab (www.thedlab.info/) at the Faculty of Health, Medicine, and Life Sciences of Maastricht University.
We are looking for applicants who have completed a Master in (bio)medical engineering, technical medicine, physics, machine learning, computer science, biomedical sciences or equivalent, with an interest for quantitative imaging, Deep Learning and “Radiomics”.
-Preferably experience with modelling techniques/machine learning techniques
-Preferably experience with imaging techniques (CT, MRI, PET), DICOM and image analysis
-Programming experience, preferably a scripting language such as Python or R
-Familiarity with relational database systems (SQL) preferred.
-Fluently in English, both writing and speaking
-An independent and practical personality and you are able to take initiatives.
-We are looking for a positively minded scientist motivated to learn new approaches and ready to work hard to build a scientific career. The candidate should have a sociable personality with good communication skills, a problem-solving attitude, learn fast to plan his own workload effectively and to delegate when necessary and have conceptual ability.
Fixed-term contract: 4 years.
The terms of employment of Maastricht University are set out in the Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities (CAO). Furthermore, local UM provisions also apply. For more information look at the website https://www.maastrichtuniversity.nl/support/um-employees
Maastricht University is renowned for its unique, innovative, problem-based learning system, which is characterized by a small-scale and student-oriented approach. Research at UM is characterized by a multidisciplinary and thematic approach, and is concentrated in research institutes and schools. Maastricht University has around 18,000 students and 4,300 employees. Reflecting the university's strong international profile, a fair amount of both students and staff are from abroad. The university hosts 6 faculties: Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, Faculty of Law, School of Business and Economics, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience.
CARIM is one of the six schools of the Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences (FHML) of Maastricht University and is embedded within the Maastricht University Medical Center+ (Maastricht UMC+). CARIM collaborates closely with the Heart+Vascular Center of Maastricht UMC+.
With an annual budget of more than 20 M€, CARIM is one of the largest cardiovascular research institutes in Europe, producing more than 500 scientific articles and approximately 40 PhD dissertations per year. In the last ten years, CARIM papers were published in high impact journals such as Cell, JAMA, Nature Medicine, New England Journal of Medicine, Journal of the American College of Cardiology, Circulation, and Lancet Neurology.
Cardiovascular scientists from around the world join CARIM because it values open communication, close cooperation, high ambitions, good facilities and a critical learning environment.
Maastricht University (UM)
Universiteitssingel 40, 6229 ER, Maastricht