Two PhD positions in the department of Biological and Biomedical Engineering or in Integrated Program in Neuroscience is open in the lab of Professor Louis Collins at the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital, McGill University to develop software tools for image guided neurosurgery of brain

Start date: Fall 2019/rolling

Stipend: $25k/y

Graduate programs: Biological and Biomedical Engineering or Integrated Program in Neuroscience

Description: Alzheimer’s disease (AD) pathology may be present in the brain as many as 15-20 years before symptoms occur. As in most diseases, early treatment, before too much brain damage has been done, is likely to be more effective. However, accurately identifying people at risk of dementia due to AD early, before symptoms appear, is extremely difficult.   Postdoctoral fellow 1 will study people with subjective cognitive decline as they have issues with memory or cognition, and have a greater risk of developing AD. The goal of the project will be to combine imaging and clinical data to develop predictive models of cognitive decline for individual patients. Postdoctoral fellow 2 will develop similar models in subjects with mild cognitive impairment (MCI). We have built a database of magnetic resonance images, cognitive and clinical data, with extensive follow up information from 7000+ subjects. Using this data, the Postdoctoral fellows will learn to use an extensive set of sophisticated image processing tools to analyze MRI images to detect patterns of brain atrophy typical of AD. These results will be combined with tests of cognition that can be completed quickly in the clinic, as well as clinically available cardiovascular risk lifestyle factors known to be associated with cognitive decline. The candidates will learn and apply both classical statistical methods and deep learning techniques to predict future cognitive decline with this data.  Once developed, such tools will be evaluated in the clinic to help clinicians to develop optimal patient-specific preventive treatment. These fellowships will give significant opportunity for publication and will prepare the candidates for future academic or industrial careers.

Requirements: Candidates should have a masters degree in computer science, math, physics, engineering or neuroscience and have strong analytical skills, programming experience, ability to work independently, good communication skills and experience in computational image analysis methods.

Context: These two positions are funded by a CIHR operating grant.

Follow instructions here to apply with JobID=2276.