[Comp-neuro] PhD Studentship in Peripheral Nerve Decoding Algorithms

Simon Schultz s.schultz at imperial.ac.uk
Thu Jul 3 17:16:35 CEST 2014

Dear all,

The following 4-year PhD studentship (for start October 2014) is open. 
Note that the studentship is open to EU students.


Peripheral nerve decoding algorithms for bioelectronic medicines

Supervisors: Simon Schultz (Bioengineering), Nick Jones (Mathematics), 
Hannah Tipney (GSK)

This project is one of 12 studentships for 2014/15 in the new EPSRC 
Centre for Doctoral Training in Neurotechnology for Life and Health (see 

Bioelectronic medicine, in which devices connected to groups of 
individual nerve fibres are used to control the patterns of electrical 
signals to restore health to organs and biological functions, has been 
suggested to have the potential to make major advances in the treatment 
of conditions resistant to drugs, including diabetes, obesity, 
hypertension and pulmonary diseases (Famm et al, Nature 496:159-61, 
2013). The development of bioelectronic medicines, however, is 
contingent upon the existence of suitable technology for monitoring and 
perturbing activity in peripheral nerve fibres; in particular, being 
able to "read out" and interpret signals carried by a peripheral nerve 
fibre is an essential milestone.

In this project, we will develop decoding algorithms capable of reading 
out both continuous physiological signals, and discrete "events", from 
peripheral nervous system (PNS) electrical signals. These algorithms 
will be applied to a variety of datasets collected by members of a 
research network in Bioelectronic Medicines that has been established by 
GlaxoSmithKline, plc.

The project will involve two phases. The first year will comprise an 
MRes Project, in which the student will gain a deep understanding of the 
different approaches that can be taken to decoding physiological 
signals, testing algorithms on simulated data, which will be generated 
in the course of the project; we expect this computational model of a 
peripheral nerve to be a major output of the MRes year. In the following 
years, and exploiting and advancing a new signal processing 
architecture, the student will develop refined decoding algorithms 
optimised for use with peripheral nerve signals at several spatial 
scales, and will work with research groups across the GSK network to 
apply these algorithms to real PNS datasets.

Contact Dr Simon Schultz, s.schultz at imperial.ac.uk for more information 
on the project.

Who should apply?

The CDT programme is not a standard PhD programme. Throughout the 4 
years, there is considerable emphasis upon multidisciplinary and 
transferrable skills, through centre activities beyond the individual 
research project. Applicants should be seeking to undertake a 
multidisciplinary 4-year research training programme at the interface 
between neuroscience and engineering. Applicants should have or expect 
to obtain a first or upper second class degree in an engineering or 
physical sciences discipline. Students with a biological or medical 
sciences background will be considered in exceptional circumstances, 
provided they can demonstrate substantial quantitative skills.


The studentship will cover tuition fees and a tax free stipend of 
approximately £16,000 per year. A generous annual allowance will be 
provided for research consumables and for conference attendance.

How to apply

Please visit: 
http://www3.imperial.ac.uk/registry/admissions/howtoapplypg to make your 
application via the Imperial College online "Embark" system. Once in the 
application form, candidates should select the option:

"MSc, MRes - to be followed by Research (I have 4 years funding)" from 
the preliminary questions section and then choose Programme Title: 
"Neurotechnology [1plus3] (MRes 1YFT)|H6NT|SK|FT|CN".

Please contact Kate Hobson (k.hobson at imperial.ac.uk) if you have 
questions about the application process.

Deadline for applications: 31st July 2014

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