Postdoctoral Position in BrainDrugs









A postdoctoral position has become available in the thematic alliance BrainDrugs (https://nru.dk/index.php/braindrugs), at the Neurobiology Research Unit (NRU, www.nru.dk), Copenhagen University Hospital, Rigshospitalet. The expected starting date is January 1st, 2021, or as close as possible to this date. The position is full-time and available for 2 years.

The main goal of the BrainDrugs project is to address the enormous unmet need for the development of effective precision medicine approaches for brain disorders including mood disorders. More precise prediction of risk and resilience as well as more precise treatment strategies are needed to replace the present “one-size-fits-all” and subsequent “trial-and-error” approach currently applied in our patients. An important step to achieve this goal is to uncover endophenotypes and biomarkers that characterize risk and resilience and can critically help to stratify patient cohorts. BrainDrugs is headed by Professor, DMSc, Gitte Moos Knudsen.



In the work package 5 “Mining Neuroimaging Data” (WP5) of the BrainDrugs project, we want to investigate the following questions:

1) Does a radiologist’s summary description accurately capture neuroimaging outcomes as defined by unsupervised assessments?

2) Is epilepsy or MDD drug treatment resistance associated with specific MRI neuroimaging features, such as functional connectivity?

3) Does antiepileptic or antidepressive drug intervention influence resting state functional connectivity compared to the drug-naïve condition?

4) Is treatment resistance to antiepileptic drugs targeting the SV2A due to insufficient drug occupancy at the target? And likewise, for antidepressant drug occupancy at the serotonin reuptake sites?

5) Which brain circuits (as determined by resting state fMRI) are affected by disease and drug interventions?

WP5 is led by Professor, DMSc, Leif Østergaard and Assistant Professor, PhD, Melanie Ganz.



Responsibilities and tasks

As postdoc in WP5 your task will be to implement new tools to facilitate regulated access to the large volume of neuroimaging data collected during routine clinical care and available in the institutional archives. Following this, you will work on validating the combined by, e.g., comparing automatically extracted image features (e.g., white matter signal abnormality burden) with data extracted from the electronic healthcare records. Next, your task will entail using image analysis and pattern recognition tools on the existing data to define characteristic features of poor drug responders compared to healthy controls.



Your task will also be to provide image analysis support to the BrainDrugs research group, specifically WP3 and WP4. We expect you to take a full and active role in the daily life of the BrainDrugs groups, including attending group meetings, educational activities, teaching and supervision of research assistants, participation in scientific conferences, conceptualization of related research projects, and contributions to grant applications.



Qualifications

You should have a PhD degree in neuroscience, computer science, statistics, mathematics, bioinformatics or a similar degree.



Additionally, you should have:

  • An unstoppable drive and excitement for developing image analysis and machine learning algorithms
  • A documented solid background in either image analysis, machine learning or statistics
  • Programming experience including at least one of Python, Matlab, or R
The position is part of a collaborative, interdisciplinary project. You thrive in collaboration with others, and you are excited to interact with researchers from different research fields and turn their problems into machine learning. Hence, you should have good collaborative skills as well as skills in the realm of verbal and written communication, as evidence by scientific publications. You should have an international outlook and be able to work independently and proactively. Spoken Danish is not a requirement but advantageous.



Research environment

BrainDrugs is hosted at the Neurobiology Research Unit (NRU), Department of Neurology, Neuroscience Centre at Rigshospitalet. NRU encompasses around 50 staff members and has an annual budget of roughly €3.5 million. NRU has extensive experience in organization and governance of large-scale research collaborations most recently the Lundbeck Foundation Center for Integrated Molecular Brain Imaging (Cimbi) and Center for Experimental Medicine Neuropharmacology (NeuroPharm). NRU has many national and international collaborators and has expertise in molecular, functional and structural brain imaging in brain disorders. As of 2019, NRU has its own brain research dedicated 3T MR-scanner, and since July 2020 a mock-up MR scanner facility is installed in the North Wing at Rigshospitalet.



Terms of employment

The terms of employment and salary are in accordance with the agreement between Danish Regions and The Danish Confederation of Professional Associations on Academics in the Regions.



Application

The application shall be submitted in English and include a CV, a short motivation letter (maximum 1 page), a copy of the doctoral certificate or letter signed by the promotor that a doctoral certificate is expected in due time, a publication list, and a maximum number of three scientific publications, at least two of which are international journal articles. Teaching portfolio and references can also be included, if available.

Please note that applications will be assessed based on these mandatory enclosures. Applicants cannot expect any additional documentation to be taken into account in the assessment.



Application procedure

After the expiry of the deadline for applications, applicants will be selected for interviews. NRU wishes to encourage everyone interested in this position to apply, regardless of personal background.



Further information

For further information, please contact Assistant Professor Melanie Ganz (email: mganz@nru.dk) or Professor Leif Østergaard (email: leif@cfin.au.dk).



The deadline for applications including enclosures is October 1st, 2020 (at midnight 23:59 Danish Time).

Please note: Applications must be submitted and documents must be uploaded online. Click the “Apply” button and fill in the application form. Applications received after deadline will not be taken into account.


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