Postdoctoral - Computational Engineering

School/Institution:Inserm, France, Rennes

Discipline: Computational Engineering

Employment Type:Full-time

Posted:2020-05-07

Contact Person:If you wish to apply for this position, please specify that you saw it on AKATECH.tech

Post-doc position offer - Neuro-inspired macroscale models of epileptic networks for optimization of tCS-induced electric field therapeutic effects

Job Description

Context. Epilepsy refers to a neurological disorder that affects about 1% of the general population. Recent findings indicate that non-invasive brain transcranial current stimulation (tCS) is safe and of therapeutic promise in epilepsy.

However, it is not yet indicated as a standard treatment due to major scientific limitations: unknown mechanisms of action, insufficient account for patient-specific factors, poor understanding of short- and long-term effects.

The ambition of the GALVANI Project (ERC-SyG 2019; 2020-26) is to transform the care of a large fraction of patients living with drug-resistant epilepsies by solving a fundamental problem: to efficiently target and control large-scale epileptic brain networks with tCS-induced neuromodulatory weak electric fields (https://www.galvani-lab.eu/).

Rationale

The mechanisms underlying immediate (acute) and lasting (short- or long-term) effects of neuromodulation induced by weak electric fields remain mostly elusive. To gain insights into these mechanisms, a new generation of experimentally-validated computational “hybrid” brain models must be developed. These models will combine neurophysiological models of neuronal networks with biophysical models of weak field effects. They will provide a unique framework to clarify the effects of dynamic E-fields induced by stimulation.

Objective

The objective of the proposed research position is to design hybrid neuro-inspired models of large-scale networks and corresponding model parameter identification methods.

Methods. Macroscale computational models will allow for simulation of epileptic activity (HFOs, spikes, low-voltage fast, ictal) generated by large-scale networks, as observed in human epilepsies.

They will account for the impact of weak electric fields at neuronal population level: immediate effects (mean membrane potential changes) and lasting effects (neuroplasticity). Optimization methods will be developed for identifying optimal neuromodulation parameters maximizing therapeutic effects (intensity, frequency, waveform, cell types) from human data (SEEG recordings).

Models will use the Neural Mass Model formalism (NMMs). They will be developed in C and/or Python. They will extend already-existing models at neural mass level. Strong background is available (https://perso.univ-rennes1.fr/fabrice.wendling/).

Domains. Engineering (computational, biomedical); Physics (biophysics, electromagnetism); Biology (neuroscience); Medicine (neurology); Computer Science (computing in maths, eng. and Medicine)

Scientific environment. GALVANI involves three partners: LTSI-Inserm (Rennes), AMU-APHM (Marseille) and Neuroelectrics (Barcelona). It is intended to develop the next generation of brain stimulation solutions. GALVANI can be viewed as a distributed lab (Rennes-Barcelona-Marseille) working under a common policy to ensure coherence of research and intense collaboration and cross-fertilization. Fellows will be co-supervised in a unique, shared environment with exposure to science, technology and clinical experience.

Candidate profile. The research project is at the interface between biomathematics (neuro-inspired models), biophysics (electric field models), and neuroscience/neurology (epilepsy).

The Post-doc fellow (PhD+experience) will preferably have a strong background in computational neuroscience/systems biology or in electrical engineering with experience in bio-signal processing. Knowledge in electrophysiology and/or EEG analysis would be an asset. The post-doc fellow will join a multidisciplinary team including research scientists in biomedical engineering, neurophysiological modeling, biophysics, signal processing, electrophysiology, neurology.

Contract

Location in the city of Rennes, France. LTSI-Inserm laboratory, University of Rennes. In addition, the post-doc fellow will have the opportunity to perform visits and to actively collaborate with engineers, researchers and clinicians of the Marseille & Barcelona groups.

Contact (please provide resume, cover letter and email of 2 references)

Fabrice Wendling (DR Inserm, LTSI, France) Email: fabrice.wendling@inserm.fr

Job Details

Title:Post-doc position offer - Neuro-inspired macroscale models of epileptic networks for optimization of tCS-induced electric field therapeutic effects

Employer: Inserm

Job types: Postdoc

Fields: Neurology,   Electromagnetism,   Biomedical Engineering,   Neuroscience,   Biophysics,   Computational Engineering

Contact Person: If you wish to apply for this position, please specify that you saw it on AKATECH.tech

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