[Comp-neuro] PhD position in Computational Neuroscience (4 year contract), Radboud University Nijmegen

Ingo Bojak I.Bojak at donders.ru.nl
Thu Sep 11 20:35:20 CEST 2008

Candidate profile
The successful candidate has a strong background in physics and/or 
mathematics, is competent in applying numerical methods, and shows some 
grasp of, and great interest in, computational neuroscience. The main 
tasks of this research project involve theoretical calculations, 
computer simulations and experimental data analyses, using MATLAB. 
Specific methods and relevant background knowledge will be taught to the 
candidate “on the job”, providing an excellent opportunity for an 
enthusiastic researcher to specialize in an exciting new field.

Research topic
Neuronal oscillations in the gamma frequency range (30-100 Hz) play a 
crucial role in information processing. Since gamma activity is 
effective in activating other neurons, the question arises which 
mechanism prohibits gamma activity to activate an ever-increasing number 
of neurons. Many focal epileptic seizures start with an increase of 
gamma activity with abnormal spreading. We will investigate the special 
role of inhibitory interneurons in the generation of a robust gamma rhythm.
The hypothesis that some inhibitory regulation is disturbed in epileptic 
patients will be tested using mathematical analyses and extensive 
computer simulations of interactions between single neurons and 
populations of neurons. The results of these approaches will be compared 
to data in large databases at the Academic Hospital of the University 
Utrecht, obtained by subdural recordings in patients with normal 
task-related gamma activity and with epileptic seizures. The results of 
this project may allow pro-active recognition of starting epileptic 

Research environment
The Department of Biophysics of the Radboud University Nijmegen is part 
of the Centre for Neuroscience (http://www.ru.nl/dcn) within the Donders 
Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour 
(http://www.ru.nl/donders/). The Donders Institute hosts many excellent 
researchers and owns advanced infrastructure and equipment, such as a 
PC-cluster for fast computer simulations.
The offered PhD position is part of a large project in Computational 
Life Science, funded by the Dutch Science Foundation (NWO). The grant 
also includes 2 post-docs and another PhD student, and is a 
collaboration of several senior researchers at Radboud University and at 
the Mathematics Department of the University of Twente.

Living in The Netherlands / Nijmegen
The Netherlands are well-known as a liberal and modern European country 
with a unique and distinguished culture. It is one of most densely 
populated urban regions of the world, but the vibrant border city of 
Nijmegen (http://www.nijmegen.nl/) also offers access to the beautiful 
Dutch/German “Lower Rhine” countryside.

Estimated gross salary: from about €2050/month in the first year to 
€2600/month in the last year (Dutch University Salaryscale 10), plus an 
8% annual supplement and end-of-year bonus.

For more information, please contact Prof. Dr. C. Gielen 
(S.Gielen at donders.ru.nl).

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