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 Pre-doctoral position at the “Parkinson’s Disease and Neurodegeneration group” of the BCBL- Basque Center on Cognition Brain and Language (San Sebastián, Basque Country, Spain) www.bcbl.eu (Center of excellence Severo Ochoa).

Applications are invited for a 4-year full-time PhD Studentship at the Basque Center on Brain Cognition and Language (BCBL) in San Sebastian (Spain) within the research group of “Parkinson’s Disease and Neurodegeneration”.

The specific aim of group focuses on understanding the neurophysiological mechanisms underlying the start and progression of neurodegenerative diseases, particularly in Parkinson’s disease (PD), with a multimodal approach including magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and spectroscopy, electrophysiology, genetics and behavioural studies, with the final goal of better non-invasive diagnosis and treatment in clinical practice.

The group is performing several cross-sectional and longitudinal studies in PD patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI), dementia and impulse control disorder (ICD). These studies collect an extensive MR protocol in PD patients and matched controls, including high resolution structural T1- weighted and T2-weighted MRI, diffusion-weighted MRI, resting state and task-based functional MRI. The candidate will pursue a research project that will delve into this comprehensive dataset to discover early biomarkers for cognitive decline and dementia in PD patients, as well as to investigate the pathophysiological mechanisms associated with the cognitive decline and the development of impulse control disorders (ICD).

Through the project the candidate will investigate state-of-the-art machine learning techniques, as well as complex networks and graph theoretical analyses that effectively integrate information from multiple heterogeneous multimodal MRI data sources. The group has easy access to a 3T Siemens PrismaFit MR scanner to test novel hypotheses in new subjects.

Due to the multidisciplinary nature of the research project, the ideal candidate should have a Masters degree, or equivalent experience, in Engineering, Physics, Mathematics, Signal Processing, Computer Science or another other relevant area. Candidates with a background in Medicine (neurology), Neuropsychology and Cognitive Neuroscience who have an interest in advanced data analyses are also encouraged to apply. Strong programming skills in Matlab, R or Python, as well as experience in the analysis of neuroimaging data are a plus. A good command of English is required, and knowledge of Spanish is an advantage in the daily basis and training is given at the BCBL. The BCBL hosts cutting-edge neuroimaging facilities that are fully available for research purposes and will be routinely used in the project (www.bcbl.eu).

For further information about the position please contact Mari Cruz Rodríguez-Oroz, (mcroroz@gmail.com). Interested candidates should submit their application for “PhD 2017 – Parkinson’s Disease and Neurodegeneration” by going to the following link: http://www.bcbl.eu/calls/ and upload:

  1. Curriculum vitae
  2. A cover letter/statement describing research interests (4000 characters maximum)
  3. The names of two referees who would be willing to write letters of recommendation

Candidatures will be considered until the position is filled, but all applications received prior to 31st December 2017 will be considered for the position.

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