With this project we aim to reduce the need for surgical biopsies in patients with a brain tumour by developing artificial intelligence (AI) technology which integrates magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and histopathology to eventually obtain all clinically relevant diagnostic information non-invasively from MRI only: a virtual biopsy.
As a PhD student, you will develop advanced image analysis and machine learning techniques that will automatically diagnose brain tumour genotypes from tissue samples, and to link tissue sample characteristics with MRI-based features. This is a challenging and multidisciplinary project, bridging technical, biological and clinical disciplines.
This is one of several positions in the Brain Tumour Virtual Biopsy Project. Both conventional and advanced MRI and histopathological staining techniques will be used. A large database of MRI scans, tissue samples and clinical information will be collated for this project, both retrospectively and prospectively. There will be a strong collaboration with the other PhD students and postdoc on this project, whose focus will be on the automated extraction of relevant quantitative features from radiological (‘radiomics’) and pathological (‘pathomics’) images, and on bringing virtual biopsy into clinical practice through an ‘in silico’ trial.
The project is performed at Erasmus MC – University Medical Centre Rotterdam and Radboud University Medical Centre (Radboudumc) in Nijmegen, in collaboration with AmsterdamUMC, Delft University of Technology, Leiden University Medical Centre, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (New York, USA), and with advisors from University College London (UK).
Erasmus MC (University Medical Center Rotterdam)
- You should be an independent and highly motivated researcher with an MSc or MEng degree in a technical domain (e.g., Physics, Engineering, Mathematics, Informatics, Clinical/ Biomedical Technology).
- Affinity for or experience with biomedical research, in particular histopathology or MRI, is highly valued.
- You should be able to communicate and work with clinicians as well as researchers from various fields.
- Excellent proficiency in English is required.
Conditions of employment
- You will receive a temporary position for 4 years. The gross monthly salary is € 2.789,- in the 1st year and increases to € 3.536,- in the 4th year (scale OIO).
- Excellent fringe benefits, such as a 13th month that is already paid out in November and an individual travel expense package.
- Pension insurance with ABP. We take care of approximately 2/3 of the monthly contribution.
- Special benefits, such as a incompany physiotherapist and bicycle repairer. And there is also a gym where you can work on your fitness after work.
As a PhD student you will be based both in the Department of Radiology & Nuclear Medicine of the Erasmus MC in Rotterdam and in the Computational Pathology Group at the Pathology department of Radboudumc in Nijmegen. Both departments have an international character with a good balance between internationally recognised, high-end research and an excellent social working environment. The supervision for the project will be provided by Dr. ir. Stefan Klein and Prof. Marion Smits at Erasmus MC and by Dr. Geert Litjens at Radboudumc. The expectation is that you work a substantial part of the time at Radboudumc.
The Department of Radiology & Nuclear Medicine of the Erasmus MC is one of the largest imaging departments in Europe with 10 clinical MRI scanners at several field strengths and 1 PET-MRI scanner. In Rotterdam, the project is locally embedded in the Applied Physiological Neuroimaging group and Biomedical Imaging group Rotterdam (BIGR). In Nijmegen, the Department of Pathology is a modern, fully digital department with several whole-slide scanning systems and a compute cluster encompassing more than a 100 GPUs.