PhD in Multiscale simulations for translational explorations of emphysema

Centre / Institution:
Pompeu Fabra University
Bioinformatics expertise:
Algorithmics, Bioinformatics of Disease and Treatment, Biomedical Informatics
Multiscale simulations, modelling, computational networks, meta-analysis

Job description

-Research Project / Research Group Description:

The proposed PhD will involve the Biomechanics and Mechanobiology, the Image analysis and the machine learning laboratories of the BCN MedTech research unit at the University Pompeu Fabra (UPF). BCN MedTech focuses on biomedical integrative research, including mathematical and computational models, algorithms and systems for computer-aided diagnosis and treatment of health problems. It has 60 full time researchers and belongs to the Department of Information and Communication Technologies, awarded with the prestigious label of Unit of Excellence through the Spanish Maria de Maeztu Strategic Research Program.

The project focusses on multiscale modelling and simulations to identify early biomarker candidates in emphysema. Emphysema is the most harming form of chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases (COPD) and its current diagnostic is usually confirmed at a relatively advanced stage of disease progression, through computed tomography image analyses. In order to cope with this limitation and support the early prevention of emphysema progression, we propose a multiscale modelling approach that combines image analysis, tissue finite element modelling and cell-cytokines agent-based modelling. Such approach has already allowed successful simulation of emphysema progression, as a response to cigarette smoking [1]. The proposed PhD will push forward this research towards the use of disease mechanism models for the identification of early emphysema biomarkers.

-Job position description:

Specifically, the work will include

  • The development and implementation of advanced constitutive equations for the lung parenchyma
  • The systematic evaluation of computational networks to simulate the dynamics of the biological processes that control the turnover of parenchyma macromolecules
  • The meta-analysis of patient data and multiscale simulation results

The successful candidate will work in the Poble Nou Campus of UPF, in the beautiful town of Barcelona, in collaboration with the Barcelona Super Computing center for the multiscale simulations, and with ISGlobal for epidemiological data.


Desired skills and expertise

Applicants are expected to have a bachelor's and master's degrees in biomedical engineering, physics, applied mathematics or any related fields. They should be motivated to work in an international environment and have good communication skills. Experience in Python programming is welcome and proficient English is mandatory.

Contract duration and other benefits

The grant is supported by a European Marie Sklodowska-Curie co-fund and provides a competitive gross annual salary of 34.800 € during a period of three years to attract young talents. This salary is supplemented by a research allowance of 3.564 € per year, and a PhD award of 7.500 € will be granted if the PhD thesis is submitted within 6 months after the end of the fellowship.

Required information and contact

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