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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 curate the tissue samples, and develop advanced image analysis and machine learning techniques that will automatically extract their quantitative characteristics (‘pathomics’), and to link these with molecular and clinical characteristics. 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, clinical information, and tissue samples and associated molecular data will be collated for this project, both retrospectively and prospectively. For the molecular aspects of this project, you will work closely together with the genomics group of the neuro-oncology lab. 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’) images, to link radiomics with pathomics, 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, Nanobiology, Mathematics, Informatics, Clinical/ Biomedical Technology).
- Affinity for or experience with biomedical research, in particular histopathology, 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 employed by the Department of Radiology & Nuclear Medicine of the Erasmus MC in Rotterdam. The department has an international character with a good balance between internationally recognised, high-end research and an excellent social working environment. You will also work in the neuro-oncology lab and work closely together with the Department of Pathology. The supervision for the project will be provided by Prof. Pim French, Dr. ir. Stefan Klein and Prof. Marion Smits.
The Department of Radiology & Nuclear Medicine is one of the largest imaging departments in Europe with 10 clinical MRI scanners at several field strengths and 1 PET-MRI scanner. The project is locally embedded in the Applied Physiological Neuroimaging group and Biomedical Imaging group Rotterdam (BIGR), and The Brain Tumour Centre at the Erasmus MC Cancer Institute.