PhD-Computational Neuro–Electromagnetic Models for Non-Invasive Brain Stimulation

A major research mission of this PhD project is to demonstrate—by means of computational electromagnetics and coupled neuroscience models—that the non-invasive brain stimulation can be applied to improve cognitive functions in neurodegenerative diseases. This interdisciplinary project builds on synergies between the IETR laboratory of CNRS and the LTSI laboratory of INSERM.

 

 

Title of the offer (max. 2 lines):

Computational Neuro–Electromagnetic Models for Non-Invasive Brain Stimulation

 

Position type:

PhD student

 

Short description of the position:

A major research mission of this PhD project is to demonstrate—by means of computational electromagnetics and coupled neuroscience models—that the non-invasive brain stimulation can be applied to improve cognitive functions in neurodegenerative diseases. This interdisciplinary project builds on synergies between the IETR laboratory of CNRS and the LTSI laboratory of INSERM.

 

Deadline for application (your offer will be deleted after this deadline):

2020 / 05 / 18

 

Location:

France / Rennes

 

Hosting company / institution:

IETR laboratory of CNRS (UMR 6164)

 

Start date:

Sep–Oct. 2020

 

End date (if applicable):


 

 

Website link for more details (if applicable):

https://deniq.com/2020/03/16/computational-neuro-electromagnetic-non-invasive-brain-stimulation/

 

Contact person(s) (if applicable):

denys.nikolayev@univ-rennes1.fr

 

Computational Neuro–Electromagnetic Models for Non-Invasive Brain Stimulation

---PhD Position----

Context

This interdisciplinary PhD project builds on synergies between the IETR laboratory of CNRS and the LTSI laboratory of INSERM. Research at IETR focuses on applying computational multiphysics approaches to elucidate the interactions of electromagnetic fields and living organisms, to quantify them, and to develop novel biomedical applications. LTSI studies the dynamics of neural systems supported by advanced computational neuroscience models and consciousnessprobing technologies based on non-invasive electromagnetic brain stimulation.

Background and Mission

Treatment of neurodegenerative diseases is a major challenge for clinicians. For some conditions, such as Parkinson’s disease, invasive deep-brain stimulation (DBS) improves drastically the motor symptoms; however, it does not provide clinical benefits on cognitive function.

Based on preliminary clinical evidence, a major research mission of this PhD project is to demonstrate—by means of computational electromagnetics and coupled neuroscience models—that the non-invasive brain stimulation (NIBS) techniques can be applied to improve cognitive functions in neurodegenerative diseases. Specifically, we aim to demonstrate in silico that electrical stimulation of cortical regions can be optimized based on high-resolution electromagnetic dosimetry, possibly by envisioning novel high-frequency waveforms accounting for multi-physics aspects of bioelectromagnetic interactions.

This project benefits from an established interdisciplinary collaboration between two laboratories. Common heritage includes unique computational models of the human brain that combine electromagnetic, biophysical, and neurophysiological aspects. The strong expertise and know-how of IETR in the field of full-wave and quasi-static electromagnetic simulations applied to bioelectromagnetic problems in silico, coupled with heating analysis by solving the bio-heat transfer, could provide an unprecedented view of the effects of high-frequency stimulation on human brain activity. The last generation of high-performance workstations with GPU accelerators and advanced numerical solvers will be used to handle computationally large multi-scale and multi-physics problems. Finally, for the experimental validation, a high-resolution HR-EEG system featuring 256 dry electrodes is available at LTSI (currently, the only academic institution in the world equipped with this technology).

Main Duties Include

— Conduct a systematic review and develop original research ideas in the field of computational modeling methods for non-invasive brain stimulation.

— Publish sections of the work in high-profile journals, attend and present key results

at conferences under the guidance of the supervisors.

— Become an active member of the professional community, national and international. Required Skills

We seek highly engaged, enthusiastic, and exceptionally motivated candidates with an M.Sc. degree in (bio)physics, electromagnetics, electrical engineering, electronics, computational science, or applied mathematics. In addition, we encourage to apply the candidates with background in neuroscience that have a keen interest in mathematical modeling.

— Knowledge of numerical modeling and experience with commercial or open-source numerical solvers (e.g. COMSOL, CST, Ansys).

— Programming skills (Python or MATLAB).

— Fluency in English: the candidate should be conversant and articulate in English and must

have strong writing skills. Knowledge of French is not required but would be appreciated. — Good communication skills and team spirit are important.

Advantages

The qualified candidate will be part of two dynamic and multidisciplinary teams in a highly collaborative and stimulating environment. He/she will have access to state-of-the-art laboratories, high-performance computing facilities and receive a competitive salary.

In addition:

— Possibility of subsidized housing (student residencies) and meals in university restaurants, — Partial reimbursement of public transport costs, — Approx. 7 weeks of annual leave + possibility of exceptional leave (moving home, etc.), — Social, cultural and sports events and activities, — Social security coverage.

Funding:

Full scholarship in the frame of Labex CominLabs “PKSTIM” project. Possibility of funded international mobility (if eligible; require a separate application).

Duration: 36 months, expected starting date is Oct. 2020.

Location: Rennes, France. Laboratories IETR CNRS (75%) and LTSI INSERM (25%).

How to Apply

Please send your applications to Dr. Denys Nikolayev (denys.nikolayev@univ-rennes1.fr).

Each application should consist of (PDF format would be appreciated):

— a CV [incl. the contact details of two professional references (mail, address, position)], — a motivation letter, — a copy of the student’s university transcripts.

In the motivation letter, the applicant is encouraged to include the following details:

— An explanation of interest in the research we conduct and why he/she believes he/she is suitable for the position, — Details of undergraduate and MSc projects, — Details of any relevant courses previously taken (if applicable), — Details of any relevant work experience (if applicable).

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