PhD position in Leuven Neurotrauma Research Group

Leuven, Louvain (BE)
Jul 28, 2020
End of advertisement period
Sep 21, 2020
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time


(ref. BAP-2020-583)

The multidisciplinary Leuven Neurotrauma Research Group (L’NRG) at Biomedical Sciences consists of a close collaboration of the internationally renowned research teams of Experimental Neurosurgery and Intensive Care Medicine. The group is composed of academic and research staff and combines an animal research laboratory and a large intensive care unit (67 beds, over 3,000 admissions of critically ill patients including neurological and neurosurgical patients), both located at the Health Sciences Campus Gasthuisberg in Leuven. L’NRG has established a cranial window porcine model for the study of cerebrovascular autoregulation (patho)physiology and holds a tradition in applying computational techniques in secondary insult monitoring and prediction modeling in acute brain injury. The ultimate goal of L’NRG is to develop smart monitoring tools that are effective in helping clinicians in decision-making and improving outcomes. The unique setting of close interaction between clinicians and researchers allows to swiftly translate from bench to bedside and vice-versa.


Traumaticbrain injury can lead to devastating consequences for the patient and hisfamily and is the number one cause of death and disability in young people.Medical management consists of the prevention, early detection and treatment ofsecondary insults that cause additional damage to the brain. Cerebrovascularautoregulation is an ingenious protective physiological mechanism that ensuressufficient cerebral blood flow in spite of varying blood pressure and other threatsto homeostasis, that is however often impaired after traumatic brain injury. Thisimpairment has been recognized as an extremely important threat to goodoutcome, and steering blood pressure based on its monitoring could mean apotential breakthrough in management. However, validated methods to monitorcerebrovascular autoregulation do not exist to date. In our lab, we havecollected a tremendous amount of physiological data through studying arteriolardiameter and flow changes in response to changes in blood pressure and PaCO2 ina cranial window piglet model, instrumented with monitoring tools that can alsobe used in patients in the intensive care unit. The goal of the current projectis to develop a mathematical model of cerebrovascular autoregulation withmonitoring data as input, in order to build a validated patient autoregulationmonitor.


The candidate should have astrong academic record and a Masters diploma in the fields of Bio-informatics,Computer Science, Mathematics or Engineering.

Knowledge of data analysis,statistics, machine learning and good programming skills are essential.Knowledge of R, Matlab, Python and/or Weka is an advantage.

Previous researchexperience is a plus, but not essential.

The candidate should beable to work independently, take initiative, adopt critical judgment anddemonstrate ability to work in team. The candidate should be motivated to workwith clinicians, in the design, development, and evaluation of bedside monitor.This will require visits to the intensive care unit, at the bedside, as anobserver without being directly involved in patient care.

Proficiency in written andspoken English is crucial.

The selected candidate is expected to write adoctoral thesis on her/his research after 4 years.


The candidate is offered:

  • A full time PhD position in an internationalresearch team at KU Leuven. The KU Leuven is one of Europe's leading researchuniversities and tops Reuters ranking of Europe's most innovative universities.L’NRG offers a dynamic and intellectually challenging environment, in closecollaboration with experts from a wide variety of domains.
  • A thorough scientific education, and thepossibility to become a world-class researcher.
  • The possibility to participate in internationalconferences and collaborations.


Formore information please contact

-         Prof. dr. Bart Depreitere, tel.: +3216344290,e-mail: bart.depreitere@uzleuven.be; or

-         Mr. Fabian Guiza Grandas, tel.: +3216379153, e-mail:fabian.guiza@kuleuven.be.

Youcan apply for this job no later than September 21 2020 via the onlineapplication tool.

KULeuven seeks to foster an environment where all talents can flourish,regardless of gender, age, cultural background, nationality or impairments. Ifyou have any questions relating to accessibility or support, please contact usat diversiteit.HR@kuleuven.be.

You can apply for this job no later than September 21, 2020 via the online application tool

KU Leuven seeks to foster an environment where all talents can flourish, regardless of gender, age, cultural background, nationality or impairments. If you have any questions relating to accessibility or support, please contact us at diversiteit.HR@kuleuven.be.

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