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Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a major global health burden, affecting >33 million people. AF is associated with increased risk of stroke and heart failure, doubling cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. However, several limitations in AF detection, monitoring of patients diagnosed with AF and therapeutic targeting of specific components in real-life patients hinder a detailed understanding of the dynamic relationship between risk factors, AF and adverse outcomes such as stroke. Computer models offer unique advantages, including perfect control over parameters and perfect observability of all components of the system.
In this 4-year project, the PhD-candidate will join an interdisciplinary research team involving clinicians and scientists from the Depts of Cardiology, Physiology and Biochemistry at Maastricht University aiming to develop a highly innovative virtual-patient model that can simulate the clinical state (including the absence or presence of AF) during the entire lifetime of a cohort of thousands of virtual patients with minute-level resolution. He/she will continue the development of the recent proof-of-concept model, validating the model based on unique rhythm monitoring data available from clinical registries, and incorporating adverse outcomes associated with AF. The candidate will study existing clinical trials investigating different therapies in AF patients and will reproduce these in the cohort of virtual patients. Finally, he/she will employ the model to design and execute novel virtual clinical trials, providing important new insights to improve the detection and treatment of AF. Besides working in a stimulating translational research environment, the candidate will also have the opportunity to participate in a wide range of courses, as well as seminar series, workshops, etc., to advance their skills set.
The ideal candidate has successfully completed a master’s degree (or equivalent) in technical medicine, medical engineering, medicine, biomedical engineering or related disciplines. He/she has a strong intrinsic motivation to commit to an interdisciplinary 4 year PhD-program integrating computational approaches and complex clinical data. He/she also has a demonstrable interest in cardiovascular research, and an analytical mindset. Advanced knowledge of scientific English and excellent communication skills are required. Previous experience with programming and/or computational modeling, experience with clinical trials, or prior research experience in (cardiovascular) epidemiology or atrial fibrillation is considered a plus.
Fixed-term contract: 4 years.
The full-time position is offered for four years (1+3), with a yearly evaluation. Your salary would be € 2.395,- gross per month in the first year up to € 3.061,- gross per month in the fourth year according to the PhD-candidate salary scale. On top of this, there is an 8% holiday and an 8.3% year-end allowance.
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 20,000 students and 4,700 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.
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.
CARIM offers a very broad range of facilities covering the entire field of translational cardiovascular research and many internship opportunities, taking advantage of its connection with a large academic hospital. CARIM has an open and dynamic work culture in which talented and ambitious young people work side by side with renowned researchers and medical specialists. CARIM is an active research institute that enables its employees and provides support, such as assistance with applications for research grants and funding, a talent development programme and a Research Council, that reviews project proposals before they are submitted. CARIM provides a dynamic, critical learning environment, which proves to be fertile ground for top achievements in the field of cardiovascular research.
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+.
Maastricht University (UM)
Universiteitssingel 50, 6229 ER, Maastricht
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