[Comp-neuro] PhD Studentship – Modelling cortico-subcortical oscillatory connectivity.

Dimitris Pinotsis dpinots at yahoo.com
Tue Feb 18 12:51:45 CET 2020


PhDStudentship – Modelling cortico-subcortical oscillatory connectivity.


Applicationsare invited for a 3-year funded PhD studentship in the Wellcome Centre forHuman Neuroimaging (https://www.fil.ion.ucl.ac.uk/) under the supervision ofDr. Vladimir Litvak and Dr. Simon Farmer and in collaboration with theComputational Neuroscience Group (CNS, https://www.upf.edu/web/cns), led byProf. Gustavo Deco, at the Center for Brain and Cognition(https://www.upf.edu/web/cbc), Pompeu Fabra University (Barcelona, Spain).  The position is part of the EU-fundedInnovative Training Network euSNN (“European School of Network Neuroscience”)and available, with full-time employment, for a duration of 3 years withimmediate start.


TheeuSNN Innovative Training Network integrates 16 leading European groups innetwork neuroscience and 7 companies to train students who want to pursue asuccessful career in the field of network neuroscience. The euSNN trainingprogramme offers a unique combination of experimental, analysis and modellingapproaches. Exploiting intense collaborations between experimental, theoreticaland clinical groups, euSNN links basic research on large-scale brain dynamicswith new pathophysiological approaches and clinical applications. The euSNNnetwork is coordinated by Prof. Dr. Andreas K. Engel. Further information onthe euSNN network can be found at http://eusnn.eu.


Project details


Deep Brain Stimulation(DBS) is an effective treatment method for a range of neurological andpsychiatric conditions. It involves placing electrodes deep in a patient’sbrain, usually in precisely targeted subcortical nuclei. DBS surgery affords aunique opportunity to study the neural activity of these nuclei via recordingof local electrical signals known as local field potentials (LFP). Our grouppioneered simultaneous recording of subcortical LFP with non-invasive wholebrain imaging using magnetoencephalography (MEG). This makes it possible to mapout cortico-subcortical oscillatory coherent networks which have characteristicfrequencies and cortical topographies for each subcortical target. Over theyears we collected data from several different subcortical nuclei andcharacterised their oscillatory networks. The aim of the proposed project is toestablish a modelling framework which could accommodate these findings and makequantitative predictions for future experiments. This will require extendingexisting models of cortical dynamics and integrating information fromadditional imaging modalities such as functional MRI and Diffusion TensorModelling (DTI). 


The euSNN training networkoffers exciting and unique opportunities for the student to pursue this projectincluding interactions with top experts in neuroimaging brain modelling andexposure to several different modelling frameworks and approaches that thestudent will have to master and integrate to achieve the project’s goals. Theremight also be opportunities towards the end of the project to test some of thepredictions experimentally. In addition, the student will have a chance to workon secondments with commercial companies on topics relevant to the project.


Funding notes

The starting date can beany date between being offered the position and 1st October 2020 andthe contract is for 36 months. The studentship includes UK/EU tuition fees anda stipend along with additional funds to cover travel and accommodation duringsecondments and network activities. Overseas fees cannot be covered.


Entry requirements
Applicants should have an HonoursDegree (minimum 2:1) in a quantitative discipline: Physics/Mathematics/Engineering/Computer science, strong mathematical background and interestin neuroscience. Knowledge of scientific programming languages, particularlyMatlab, background in modelling complex physical systems and a relevant Mastersqualification is desirable. Applicants should be willing to travel to attendthe network activities and spend prolonged periods of time (up to a few monthsat a time and at least 8 months in total) doing secondments outside the UK. Applicantsmust not have been residing in the UK for more than 12 months prior to thestart of the appointment.

Deadline 30th April 2020. Shortlisted candidates will beinterviewed in May.


How to apply:

Applicants should submit 1)a CV, 2) a 1-page statement detailing why you want to do the PhD, motivation,interest and suitability for the project, 3) a copy of your strongest singlepiece of academic work (e.g. thesis, publication), and 4) contact details oftwo referees. Please ensure that each document is clearly labelled with yoursurname. Please send all documents to Kamlyn Ramkissoon k.ramkissoon at ucl.ac.ukby 30th April 2020.Interviews will be held in May 2020. Informal enquiries are welcome to Dr Vladimir Litvak (email: v.litvak at ucl.ac.uk). 

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