KU LEUVEN

Postdoc - Alzheimer's Disease Detection using Multimodal Imaging of the Reina

Recruiter
KU LEUVEN
Location
Leuven, Louvain (BE)
Posted
02 Jul 2020
End of advertisement period
31 Aug 2020

POSTDOC ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE DETECTION USING MULTIMODAL IMAGING OF THE RETINA (ADMIRE).

(ref. BAP-2020-551)

Postdoctoral mandate under supervision of Prof. Ingeborg Stalmans (Research Group Ophthalmology, Department of Neurosciences, KU Leuven/UZ Leuven), Prof. Lieve Moons and Dr. Lies De Groef (Neural Circuit Development and Regeneration Research Group, KU Leuven), Prof. Rik Vandenberghe (Laboratory for Cognitive Neurology, KU Leuven/ UZ Leuven) and other academic as well as industrial ADMIRE taskforce members (Vito, VIB and Imec).

Responsibilities

The eye offers a unique window to the brain and its circulation as the retina is embryologically derived from the diencephalon and can be easily reached by visible light. Changes in the retinal structure and function have been linked to several cerebral and cardiovascular diseases, even in a pre-clinical stage. Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the leading cause of dementia worldwide and characterized by accumulation of amyloid-protein in the cerebral cortex. Spectroscopic quantification of soluble amyloid-oligomers in the retina seems a promising non-invasive biomarker for AD that could be used in animal research as well as to detect patients in a pre-clinical stadium, enabling proper screening, diagnostics, follow-up and therapeutical studies. Unlike all the techniques that have been previously used to demonstrate in vivo amyloid load, our technique acquires a hyperspectral signature of the retina in an affordable, fast and non-invasive method by using a hyperspectral snapshot image sensor. 

This project aims to determine the specificity of the hyperspectral signal for soluble beta-amyloid in a preclinical setting, to validate our clinical set-up and to develop an AD prediction/staging algorithm, via machine learning approaches and longitudinal follow-up of phenotyped patients. 

Not only multimodal data input from hyperspectral imaging will be relied on, but also input from various existing and high-end technologies that have been well-established in ophthalmological practice will be used (Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT), OCT-Angiography, Dynamic Vessel Analysis, high resolution retinal photography, etc). 

The function is ambitious and comes with public appeal: tightening contacts with consortium members, management of international appeal, collaboration with patient organizations and decision making about future strategy. Besides a coordinating role, the postdoc will dedicate part of his time to leverage the project towards a next stage of clinical development via programming and grant writing. The project already consists of several dedicated enthusiasts but AI manpower is lacking. The postdoctoral mandate can be extended without time limit through envisioned and additional fundraising.

Profile

We are seeking highly motivated individuals with a strong background and track record in artificial intelligence or image analysis and a strong interest in the application of these technologies to neurodegenerative diseases.

Essential knowledge, skills, and experience required:

  • PhD in Civil Engineering, Artificial Intelligence, Bio-engineering, Bioinformatics, Medicine, Biomedical Sciences or equivalent.
  • Image processing and programming skills (Python or analogous).
  • Strong interest in neurobiology/ophthalmology.
  • Excellent knowledge of the English language, both spoken and written, is required.
  • A curious and creative mind set,eager to learn.
  • Perseverant with good problem-solving skills.
  • Ambitious, ability to take ownership of the project and adhere to the milestones.
  • Ability to collaborate in a multidisciplinary project with partners in academia and industry.
  • Leadership skills, able to inspire and motivate people.

Offer

  • A full-time appointment (100%) as a postdoc for a period of 1 year with the possibility of extension. Part-time appointments are negotiable. Prolongation is encouraged through envisioned grant application. 
  • Affiliation to the ADMIRE taskforce and Mission Lucidity consortium, with world-renowned experts in neurodegeneration and an extensive international network. 
  • The possibility to participate and present your research at national and international conferences.

Interested?

For more information please contact dr. Jan Van Eijgen, mail: jan.1.vaneijgen@uzleuven.be and Prof. dr. Ingeborg Stalmans, mail: ingeborg.stalmans@uzleuven.be

You can apply for this job no later than August 31, 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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