[Comp-neuro] PhD studentship in Computational Neurology: Network robustness after lesions

Marcus Kaiser m.kaiser at newcastle.ac.uk
Wed Mar 26 19:10:43 CET 2008

Dear all,

The following 3-year PhD studentship is currently available (pending approval) in my lab:

Identifying mechanisms for cortical network robustness

Why are neural systems often robust towards large-scale damage whereas technical systems often crash after failures of individual components? This project will investigate how the global network architecture of the brain (Sporns, Chialvo, Kaiser, Hilgetag, Trends Cogn. Sci., 2004) enables network robustness. Earlier studies have shown that cortical networks are robust to random removal of nodes (Kaiser et al., Eur. J. Neurosci., 2007) or edges (Kaiser & Hilgetag, Biol. Cybern., 2004) due to their scale-free and modular network topology. Comparing computational models of recovery based on brain connectivity with clinical results from stroke patients, the link between cortical network topology and recovery mechanisms after lesions will be investigated. The project might also involve external collaborations with Oxford University and M.I.T. 

The project is associated with the Institute of Neuroscience which consists of about 100 principal investigators in the fields of cellular, systems, behavioural, clinical, and computational neuroscience (http://www.ncl.ac.uk/ion/). Furthermore, Newcastle hosts the UK Stroke Research Network co-ordinating Centre and has a track-record in brain network analysis (Young, Nature, 1992). 

The funding for the studentship is provided by EPSRC and covers a stipend (about £12,940 tax-free per year) and academic fees for EU citizens. 

Applicants should have, or expect to obtain, a First Class MSc in Computer Science, Physics, Mathematics, Statistics, Biology, Medicine or other related field with a strong interest in computational analysis of biological systems. Programming experience with Java, C or Matlab as well as statistical knowledge is always welcome. 

The deadline for the application is 15 April 2008. 

Applicants should follow the normal electronic admissions procedure at http://www.ncl.ac.uk/postgraduate/apply/ including a CV and contact details for two persons who can provide references. In the section of the application form, where you are asked to provide your research proposal, you should also state that you wish to be considered for the School of Computing Science EPSRC PhD Studentship and quote the reference number CS002. 

For more information please e-mail Dr Marcus Kaiser (m.kaiser at ncl.ac.uk ) or look at http://www.biological-networks.org/ .


Marcus Kaiser, Ph.D.
School of Computing Science
Newcastle University
Claremont Tower
Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 7RU, U.K.
Phone: +44 191 222 8161
Fax:   +44 191 222 8232

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