[Comp-neuro] PhD position available at VU University Medical Center in Amsterdam

Andre Marquand a.f.marquand at fcdonders.ru.nl
Thu Aug 21 08:57:56 CEST 2014

Please see below for a PhD Vacancy at the VU University Medical Centre in Amsterdam for employing pattern recognition methods for neuroimaging data analysis.
The project
The focus of the proposed PhD project is two-fold;
First, the PhD student will will employ advanced computational and statistical methods to evaluate the prognostic value of neuroimaging modalities, biomarker, genetic, environmental and clinical characteristics and their combination to classify the course of depression and anxiety.
A second part of the project focuses on employing these methods to disentangle phenotypic heterogeneity of depression by identifying different subtypes based on a rich set of neuroimaging and clinical data and biological protein information, and by exploring the genetic basis of different subtypes and their association with course of depression and treatment response.
For these purposes, you will work with data from the Netherlands Study of Depression and Anxiety (www.nesda.nl) in which an extensive battery of detailed longitudinal clinical, biomarker, neuroimaging and genetic data have been collected in a large cohort.
You will also work with similar data from other international cohorts, and with data from the MOTAR study (www.motar.nl) in which the effects of antidepressant and running treatments are examined.
This project will integrate across these data-sources using a variety of methods, including the application of supervised and unsupervised machine learning techniques. You will be involved in the processing of neuroimaging data (structural MRI, functional MRI), associating these data with biomarker, clinical and genetics information and using machine learning methods to classify the patients.
You will be working in a multidisciplinary team with young and enthusiastic researchers, who have expertise in psychiatry, genetics, neuroimaging, statistics/engineering and epidemiology.
Your challenge
As a PhD Student your main tasks and responsibilites are:
•       Help examine predictors of the naturalistic course and treatment response in depression and anxiety;
•       Identifying subtypes of depression and anxiety based on multimodal data sources;
•       Apply unsupervised and supervised machine learning methods, such as Support Vector Machine and/or probabilistic methods, to genetic, multi-modal neuroimaging, clinical and environmental data from the NESDA study, the MOTAR study and other international cohorts;
•       Write various scientific papers on the above topics, and complete your research with a PhD thesis.
Your profile
We are looking for a highly motivated and enthusiastic researcher with a strong interest in psychopathology who has the following background and experience:
•       A strong numerate background (i.e. a Master's degree in computer science, mathematics, engineering, medical image analysis or related discipline), preferably with emphasis on machine learning, pattern classification, and/or multivariate image analysis;
•       Experience with neuroimage analysis or with (bio) statistics is desirable;
•       You have excellent statistical and strong computer programming skills (good command of LINUX, scripting, and Matlab);
•       You have excellent communications skills in English, both written and verbal;
•       Having experience in writing (international) publication(s) is a plus.
Salary Scale: OIO (EUR 2.200 in the first year that increases to EUR 2.818 gross per month in the fourth year, based on 36 hours per week).
We also offer a set 8.3% end-of-year bonus and 8% holiday pay. For more information about our fringe benefits, please visit http://www.werkenbijvumc.nl/vumc/arbeidsvoorwaarden/ (Dutch version). The PhD position is for four years, you will start with a contract for 12 months.
Additional information
The Department of Psychiatry of the VU University Medical Center (VUMC) and GGZ inGeest collaborately conduct research, education and academic patient care. The main focus is on depression and anxiety disorders, two common psychiatric disorders with high public health impact. Psychiatric research is embedded in two VU research institutes: EMGO+ and Neuroscience Campus Amsterdam. In this research area more than 150 persons from different disciplines (e.g. psychiatry, psychology, health science) collaborate.
For more information you can contact dr. Lianne Schmaal, via telephone number: +31(0)20 – 788 4592.
For more information about the application procedure you can contact mr. Wessel Haytink, recruiter, via telephone number: +31(0)6 – 1066 7718.
Please submit your candidacy by latest September 7, 2014
with reference number D2.2014.00077WH via the following link: http://bit.ly/PhDMachineLearning

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