[Comp-neuro] One Fellow position for closed-loop systems in neuroengineering @IIT Genova, ITALY

Michela Chiappalone Michela.Chiappalone at iit.it
Mon Aug 17 11:51:35 CEST 2020

Dear Comp-Neuro community,
A new opening for a 12-months fellowship position at the Pre-Doctoral level is available in our team, under the supervision of Dr Stefano Buccelli and myself at the Rehab Technologies Lab of the Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT), located in Genova at the IIT Center for Convergent Technologies.
The fellow will carry out research on the development of a novel closed-loop architecture for applications in neuroengineering. More information on the position can be found below in this email.

The application link can be found here: https://iit.taleo.net/careersection/ex/jobdetail.ftl?lang=en&job=2000002C
The call expires on September 7th, 2020.

Please forward this message to all the interested students.

Thank you and best regards,
Michela Chiappalone & Stefano Buccelli

One Fellow position for the development of a reference architecture for closed-loop systems for neuroengineering applications

The Rehab Technologies INAIL-IIT lab, (http://rehab.iit.it/) at Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT), Genova, Italy, is seeking to appoint one Fellow at the pre-Doctoral level to carry out research on the development of novel closed-loop architecture for applications in neuroengineering.

The Rehab Technologies Lab is an innovation lab aimed at developing new high tech prosthetic, orthotic and rehabilitation devices of high social impact and market potential. The Lab is primarily focused on disability and rehabilitation, and exploits a co-creation process which involves scientists, patients and therapists in all the phases of the design, realization and testing of devices developed within the lab.

The Neuroengineering area of Rehab Technologies is focused on neural interfaces and neurorehabilitation. The team has a multidisciplinary expertise in engineering and neuroscience, with skills in in vitro/in vivo electrophysiology, signal processing of neural data (spikes, LFP, EEG), closed-loop systems, neurostimulation and innovative neuroprostheses. The primary research goals of the team consist of designing and testing novel 'personalized' neuroengineering solutions for brain repair and extracting functional biomarkers of recovery induced by the rehab-related training.

In modern neuroscience, closed-loop systems delivering stimulation depending on to the actual brain state demonstrated to improve the efficacy of a therapy, also reducing the number of side effects. To build a closed-loop system, three steps are needed: reading, interpreting and writing the neural code. To 'read' the neural code, we need to record neural activity, by using either invasive or non-invasive techniques. 'Interpreting' or decoding the neural activity is obtained by means of (real-time) signal processing techniques. To 'write' the neural code, usually an electrical simulation approach is adopted (but other options are available).

Nowadays, given the increased number of recording sites that can be acquired at the same time, there is a big demand for high-performance signal processing techniques in both clinical practice and basic research. Field-Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGA) are one of the most interesting options for the implementation of high-performance computations and are usually chosen as a first step towards the development of standalone devices. Learning how to implement an algorithm on FPGA can be prohibitive for non-experts and thus it is preventing many neuroscientists from realizing innovative closed-loop systems.

Within this framework and to reduce the entry barrier in the development of closed-loop architectures on FPGA, this project will built up a rapid-prototyping, reference architecture for closed-loop neuroengineering applications by exploiting a model-based design approach (in Simulink). This will be reached by means of the following specific objectives:

  1.  Build a reference Simulink model to process neural data.
  2.  Take advantage of the HDL coder and the Fixed-Point Designer to implement the model on FPGA;
  3.  Establish use cases on commercially available systems (e.g. INTAN Stimulation/Recording system).

The project will be carried out at the Rehab Technologies Lab of IIT, located in Genova at IIT Center for Convergent Technologies. To face this technological challenge, the Rehab Technologies Lab will share resources, competencies and motivation to achieve excellent results transferable to the neuroengineering field and, later, to clinics.

We are looking for a highly motivated, outstanding candidate with the following profile:

-          A solid background in biomedical/electronics engineering

-          Strong programming skills, especially with the MathWorks products (Matlab, Simulink)

-          Master Degree in one of the above field (already obtained or to be obtained in the next two months)

-          Good communication skills and ability to cooperate

-          Proficiency in English

Desirable skills:

-          Experience with Verilog/VHDL

During this period, the selected candidate will develop the following skills and experience:

-          Principle of Neuroengineering and its applications

-          Model-based Design and Rapid Prototyping

-          Closed-loop architectures

-          Basic Electrophysiological skills

-          Interactions within a multidisciplinary Lab and for an International project

To apply, please send your CV, title of the Master Thesis and (foreseen) date of graduation, cover letter and name and contacts of one/two referees using the form online.

Deadline: September 7, 2020.

Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT), with its headquarters in Genova, Italy, is a non-profit institution with the primary goal of creating and disseminating scientific knowledge and strengthening Italy's technological competitiveness. The institute offers state-of-the-art equipment and a top-level interdisciplinary research environment focused on robotics and computer vision, neuroscience, drug discovery, nanoscience and technology.

Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia is an Equal Opportunity Employer that actively seeks diversity in the workforce.

Please note that the data that you provide will be used exclusively for the purpose of  professional profiles' evaluation and selection, and in order to meet the requirements of Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia.

Your data will be processed by Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, based in Genoa, Via Morego 30, acting as Data Controller, in compliance with the rules on protection of personal data, including those related to data security.

Please also note that, pursuant to articles 15 et. seq. of European Regulation no. 679/2016 (General Data Protection Regulation), you may exercise your rights at any time by contacting the Data Protection Officer (phone +39 010 71781 - email: dpo[at]iit.it).

Dr Michela Chiappalone, PhD
Rehab Technologies IIT-INAIL Lab
Phone : +39 010 71781743
E-mail : michela.chiappalone at iit.it<mailto:michela.chiappalone at iit.it>

Via Morego 30, 16163 Genova
Site: www.iit.it<http://www.iit.it>

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