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Postdoctoral researcher - Subject-specific spine modelling
This vacancy is posted as part of an ERC Advanced Award, Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis (AIS): a Perfect Storm of Functional Anatomy, Biomechanics and Mechanobiology during Growth? (ScoliStorm). AIS is a 3D deformity of the spine affecting previously healthy children, substantially reducing their quality of life and creating a life-long burden of disease. Up to now, we have been unable to provide a cure for these children suffering from AIS partly because its cause and mechanism of disease are still unknown. ScoliStorm will create a paradigm shift in AIS research by uncovering its complex perfect storm of anatomical, biomechanical and mechanobiological causes in the intervertebral disc and exploring this disease mechanism whereby predictive triggers are identified that can be used for prevention and early treatment. The research is multidisciplinary covering clinical, imaging, image analysis, biomechanical, mechanobiological and biological research.
In the image analysis and in silico biomechanical aspects of this project, we will develop high-throughput creation of subject specific in silico thoracic-lumbar spine models, such that morphological imaging data can provide functional analysis of the patient for diagnosis and treatment. First, feature selector algorithms, statistical shape & B-spline space modelling and Active Shape Models (ASM) will be combined to automatically segment and merge synthetic-CT and MRI datasets. Then, subject-specific FE models will be generated by combining automatic landmark identification methods, statistical shape modeling (SSM), statistical appearance modeling (SAM) and mesh morphing techniques. Finally, with input of skeletal maturity-specific tissue material properties and subject-specific loading/boundary conditions, these models will be validated against cadaveric ex vivo biomechanical testing.
If you are fascinated by medical image analysis and in silico biomedical engineering, and eager to develop innovative models that will advance understanding of spine biomechanics, we invite you to join us in this challenge. You will collaborate intensively with our partners at the Imaging Institute and Orthopedic Department at the University Medical Center in Utrecht, as well as commercial partner MRIguidance.
Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e)
- A PhD degree in biomedical engineering, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, computational science, or a comparable domain
- Ability to conduct high quality academic research, demonstrated for instance by relevant publications in the area of research
- Background in biomedical imaging and image analysis
- Experience with computational biomechanics and statistical modelling
- Be a team player and able to contribute to and initiate cross-disciplinary collaborations
- Excellent mastering of the English language, good written and oral communication skills. Note that there is no Dutch language requirement.
- Result-driven and proactive attitude
Conditions of employment
- A meaningful job in a dynamic and ambitious university with the possibility to present your work at international conferences.
- A full-time employment for 2 years, starting with a one-year contract.
- You will have free access to high-quality training programs on general skills, didactics and topics related to research and valorization.
- A gross monthly salary and benefits in accordance with the Collective Labor Agreement for Dutch Universities.
- A broad package of fringe benefits (including an excellent technical infrastructure, moving expenses, and savings schemes).
Family-friendly initiatives are in place, such as an international spouse program, and excellent on-campus children day care and sports facilities.