PhD position on imaging and modeling microvascular dysfunction in dementia

PhD position on imaging and modeling microvascular dysfunction in dementia

Published Deadline Location
12 Jan 2 Feb Utrecht

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The University Medical Center Utrecht (UMCU) has an open position for a PhD candidate on imaging and modeling microvascular dysfunction in dementia.

Job description

Processes such as brain vascular pathology, reduced cerebral blood flow (CBF), loss of function of the neuroprotective blood-brain barrier (BBB), impaired neurovascular coupling and disrupted brain clearance of waste products, can initiate and progress neurodegeneration, leading to dementia. It is not clear, however, to what extent these factors contribute to the development of dementia and how they influence disease progression. In this project the selected PhD candidate will exploit new developments in MRI technologies at 7 Tesla and computational modelling to determine how (micro)vascular dysfunction is manifested in dementia. The candidate will use multi-contrast functional MRI acquisitions at 7T with customized signal reception and encoding hardware (high density-receive arrays and insert gradient) to obtain data from patients with dementia and healthy controls. The candidate will optimize advanced data analysis approaches and our computational model of the cortical vasculature and hemodynamics to characterize differences in microvascular function between patients and healthy controls. In addition, since cortical vascular dynamics (heart-rate, respiration, vasomotion) are probably linked to brain waste clearance, the candidate will investigate the relation between microvascular dysfunction and clearance disturbances.

This PhD project is part of the consortium BRAIN BARRIERS which focuses on the role of the neurovasculature in dementia. BRAIN BARRIERS is a collaboration between AUMC, LUMC, Maastricht UMC, Radboud UMC, and UMC Utrecht, which brings together experts with a drive for translational research, ranging from biologists, preclinical scientists, biomarker specialists, imaging experts to clinicians. The selected candidate will work together with various other PhD students from this unique research team.


University Medical Center Utrecht (UMC Utrecht)


We are looking for a candidate with an M.Sc. degree in biomedical engineering, biophysics, biophysical modelling, or relevant, and with a strong interest in ultra-high field MRI, neurovascular coupling and modeling. The candidate must have a good scientific background, should be highly motivated and independent, and able to work in an interdisciplinary team of scientists. Programming experience is required, experience with biophysical modeling is preferred, and familiarity with functional MRI and MRI is an advantage.

Conditions of employment
The monthly salary is according to the standard conditions for PhD students in the Netherlands, based on the Collective Labour Agreement (Cao) Dutch University Medical Centers. In addition, we offer an annual benefit of 8.3%, holiday allowance, travel expenses and career opportunities. This is a temporary appointment for four years. The position is available as of February 2023.

For more information or to apply please contact Dr. Natalia Petridou by email at To apply, include your CV, a letter of motivation, and a list of the courses you followed with grades.

Conditions of employment

The maximum salary for this position (36 - 36 hours) is € 3.536,00 gross per month based on full-time employment.

In addition, we offer an annual benefit of 8.3%, holiday allowance, travel expenses and career opportunities. The terms of employment are in accordance with the Cao University Medical Centers (UMC).


The UMCU is a large academic hospital with over 12,000 employees and with strong research and education programs in imaging and neuroscience. The research will be carried out at the Center for Image Sciences / Radiology department of the UMCU. You will join a multi-disciplinary team of PhD students, post-docs, and staff, combining expertise in ultra-high field MRI, neuroimaging, engineering, and computational, fundamental, and translational neuroscience. Our inspiring, high quality research environment focuses on brain function and state of the art 7T MRI imaging capabilities, in a medical environment with a clear mandate to improve methodology and technology and to translate research innovations into better health care.


  • Research, development, innovation
  • Health
  • max. 36 hours per week
  • max. €3536 per month
  • University graduate
  • 2023-2874


University Medical Center Utrecht (UMC Utrecht)

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Heidelberglaan 100, 3584CX, Utrecht

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