[Comp-neuro] Postdoctoral position available in computational muscle modelling

Sang-Hoon Yeo s.yeo at bham.ac.uk
Tue Sep 4 20:09:03 CEST 2018

Postdoctoral position available: Active spring muscle model - a new
phenomenological model of skeletal muscle mechanics

Understanding Machina Carnis, how our muscles mechanically generate
movement, is one of the fundamental research questions in human movement
science and also has significant implications in many application areas.
Phenomenological muscle models, such as the Hill-type muscle model, have
been widely used in studies on motor control and biomechanics. However, the
performances of such models in predicting the dynamic contractile
behaviours of the muscle, such as eccentric or sub-maximal contractions,
are known to be far from accurate.

This BBSRC (Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, United
Kingdom)–funded postdoctoral research associate will join Dr Sang-Hoon
Yeo’s research group to develop a new phenomenological model of the
skeletal muscle mechanics. The key idea is to incorporate a newly proposed
“active spring model” that involves titin as the third filament, together
with actin and myosin filament, that actively regulates the mechanical
behaviour of the muscle (see figures below). This new model is expected to
be effectively utilized in various areas involving musculoskeletal
simulation models, where the current prevalent use of the Hill-type model
is identified as a major limiting factor. For two years starting in early
2019, the research associate will lead the first stage of the study
focusing on in-vitro muscle/fiber experiments and model development. The
research programme includes one-month visits to two prominent muscle
biomechanics laboratories: 1) Prof Walter Herzog’s lab in University of
Calgary (Calgary, Canada) and 2) Prof Kiisa Nisikawa’s lab in Northern
Arizona University (Flagstaff, USA) to carry out data collection. Based on
the collected data, the research associate will lead the data analysis,
computational modelling and simulation of a new muscle mechanics model, and
will also collaborate with other research associates to apply the developed
muscle model to human biomechanics.

The host institution, The University of Birmingham, is a Russell Group
university in the vibrant City of Birmingham, United Kingdom. The
university has produced eleven affiliated Nobel laureates and is also known
as a cradle of modern muscle mechanics, dating back to the seminal work of
Peter Rack and David Westbury. The School of Sport Exercise and
Rehabilitation Sciences, where the research associate will be based, is a
world-leading research institution in sport science, ranked 5th in the
world (QS World Ranking, Sport-related subject).

This highly interdisciplinary project is waiting for an ambitious and
open-minded individual with substantial experience in computational motor
control and muscle/musculoskeletal biomechanics. Individuals whose
expertise lies in engineering and physical science and want to apply your
skills in muscle biomechanics are also strongly encouraged to apply.
Experience in wet-lab work is preferred but not strictly required. If you
are interested to apply, please contact the principal investigator Dr
Sang-Hoon Yeo (s.yeo at bham.ac.uk) to initiate discussion.

Best wishes,


      Dr Sang-Hoon Yeo

       Lecturer in Biomechanics and Motor Control

       School of Sport, Exercise & Rehabilitation Sciences

       The University of Birmingham

       Edgbaston, Birmingham, B15 2TT, United Kingdom

       +44(0)121 414 8748
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