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PhD Position: Predicting Efficacy of neuromodulation in epilepsy

Job description

Within the Clinical Neurophysiology group of the Institute of Technical Medicine we have available

a PhD position for a project entitled: Predicting Efficacy of Neuromodulation in Epilepsy (PREDYct)

In patients with medically refractory epilepsy vagus nerve stimulation and deep brain stimulation are possible treatment options. While effective in several patients, about 30-50% of patients do not respond favorably to this treatment.

This project aims to identify novel biomarkers to predict the success of vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) using ultra-long (up to more than a year) EEG measurements with a subcutaneous electrode (© UNEEG). This is complemented with (functional) MRI and high-density EEG recordings.  Patients who are candidates for VNS will be implanted with the UNEEG device 2 months before implantation of the VNS.  Treatment effects will be evaluated with the UNEEG electrode, complemented with diaries and questionnaires regarding epilepsy related symptoms. At present, four patients have been implanted with the UNEEG electrode.

This project is a collaboration between the CNPH group of the University of Twente, the Neurocenter group (neurosurgery, neurology and clinical neurophysiology) of the Medisch Spectrum Twente and the epilepsy center SEIN in Zwolle.

This project is funded by  the Dutch epilepsy foundation, EpilepsyNL.

Your profile

We are looking for a highly motivated researcher with an MSc degree in Technical Medicine or Biomedical Engineering. A very strong interest in clinical research, epilepsy, biomedical signal analysis and machine learning is essential.

Candidates need to have good social skills and must like to work in an interdisciplinary and internationally oriented environment. An interview and presentation will be part of the selection procedure.

Our offer

We offer a scientific education on a multidisciplinary subject. The assignment is for four years, with a go/no go assessment at the end of the first year.

The university offers a dynamic ecosystem with enthusiastic colleagues in which internationalization is an important part of the strategic agenda.

  • The gross monthly salary starts with € 2.434,- in the first year and increases to € 3.111,- in the fourth year of your employment
  • A holiday allowance of 8% of the gross annual salary and a year-end bonus of 8.3%
  • A solid pension scheme
  • Minimum of 29 holidays in case of full-time employment
  • Professional and personal development programs

Information and application

Applications are welcome before November 1st, 2021 and should include a specific motivation letter reflecting on the goal and challenges of the advertised project in relation to the interests and skills of the candidate as well as a detailed CV (CV, copies of Master and Bachelor degree certificates including supplements as well as copies of other relevant documents (e.g. publications).

For more information, please contact: Prof. dr. ir. M.J.A.M. van Putten, neurologist (m.j.a.m.vanputten@utwente.nl)

About the department

The clinical neurophysiology group is an interdisciplinary research group at the University focusing on translational research in epilepsy and cerebral ischaemia.  The EEG is a key clinical and research tool. EEG signal analysis includes various machine learning techniques to improve diagnostic values and (bedside) application. Applied EEG studies are complemented by biophysical modeling and simulation for improved understanding of underlying neuronal dynamics and prediction of treatment effects. In addition, we use in vitro models consisting of cultured neurons (from rodent or human induced pluripotent stem cells) on multi-electrode arrays to study basic neuronal and synaptic functioning, identify treatment targets, and screen treatments. For more information, see https://www.utwente.nl/en/tnw/cnph/\

About the organization

TNW Faculty (Faculty of Science & Technology)

The Faculty of Science & Technology (Technische Natuurwetenschappen, TNW) engages some 700 staff members and 2000 students in education and research on the cutting edge of chemical technology, applied physics and biomedical technology. Our fields of application include sustainable energy, process technology and materials science, nanotechnology and technical medicine. As part of a people-first tech university that aims to shape society, individuals and connections, our faculty works together intensively with industrial partners and researchers in the Netherlands and abroad, and conducts extensive research for external commissioning parties and funders. Our research has a high profile both in the Netherlands and internationally and is strengthened by the many young researchers working on innovative projects with as doctoral candidates and post-docs. It has been accommodated in three multidisciplinary UT research institutes: Mesa+ Institute, TechMed Centre and Digital Society Institute.

University of Twente (UT)

University of Twente (UT) has entered the new decade with an ambitious, new vision, mission and strategy. As ‘the ultimate people-first university of technology' we are rapidly expanding on our High Tech Human Touch philosophy and the unique role it affords us in society. Everything we do is aimed at maximum impact on people, society and connections through the sustainable utilisation of science and technology. We want to contribute to the development of a fair, digital and sustainable society through our open, inclusive and entrepreneurial attitude. This attitude permeates everything we do and is present in every one of UT's departments and faculties. Building on our rich legacy in merging technical and social sciences, we focus on five distinguishing research domains: Improving healthcare by personalised technologies; Creating intelligent manufacturing systems; Shaping our world with smart materials; Engineering our digital society; and Engineering for a resilient world.

As an employer, University of Twente offers jobs that matter. We equip you as a staff member to shape new opportunities both for yourself and for our society. With us, you will be part of a leading tech university that is changing our world for the better. We offer an open, inclusive and entrepreneurial climate, in which we encourage you to make healthy choices, for example, with our flexible, customisable conditions.

PhD Position: Predicting Efficacy of neuromodulation in epilepsy
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