PDF in ultrasound-guided spine surgery

Postdoctoral Researcher Position Available in IGNS ultrasound guided spine surgery (J0082)

Background: Approximately 20% of the 233,900 Canadians diagnosed with cancer this year will have spinal tumors or develop spinal metastases. In one quarter to one half of these people, the tumour presses on the spinal cord or nerve roots, causing severe pain, weakness, sensory problems, bowel or bladder dysfunction, or even paralysis. Of these, an estimated 2000-3700 patients have spine surgery each year to decrease pressure and relieve symptoms due to the tumors or metastases. Our goal is to develop tools for image guided surgery that will improve the quality-of-life outcomes for these patients.  We have recently obtained CIHR funding to integrate the following technologies:

  • Intra-operative ultrasound to achieve sub-mm accuracy for surgical navigation with
  • Augmented reality to provide ‘superman x-ray vision’ of critical, but hidden, structures for neuronavigation during surgery

The project: The postdoctoral fellow will develop novel technology (registration, segmentation, visualization) to enable precise identification and visualization of vertebra and soft tissues of the spine during surgery by merging pre-operative computed tomography and intra-operative ultrasound images.  Such technology will improve patient-to-image registration facilitating minimally invasive image-guided spine surgery. The novel system will be validated as a safe, accurate, and novel method for intraoperative guidance to perform separation surgery, lumbar spinal fusion, and decompressions.

The postdoctoral fellow will work with a team of engineers, computer scientists and clinicians in an open-software environment, integrating new tools into our publicly available, open science, IBIS neuronavigation software platform.  Research involves projects that include structure segmentation, image registration, and clinical evaluation.

Requirements: Candidates should have a PhD degree (completed no more than 5 years ago) in Computer Science, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, Bio Engineering, Neuroscience or related field (or be graduating shortly) with strong analytical and programming skills (C, C++, Python), ability to work independently, good communication skills and research experience in computational image analysis methods. Previous experience with medical image processing, image-guided surgery, OpenGL, DirectX, Vulkan, Unity, iOS/Android, VTK, ITK and/or 3DSlicer is a plus.

Please refer to McGill’s requirements on postdoctoral appointments,  for conditions and additional information on the status of the position. (In Quebec, a Postdoctoral Fellow is a full‐time student status and trainee category, and the Ministère de l’Education, Enseignement Supérieur et Recherche (MESRS) stipulates that all postdocs must be registered on a university student registration system.)

Please note that non‐Canadian postdoctoral fellows must have valid Citizenship or an Immigration Canada (CIC) work permit to legally work in Canada.

Location of work: The Brain Imaging Center (BIC) of the Montreal Neurological Institute (MNI, the Neuro).

Work Schedule: Full time. Starting as soon as possible.

Salary: Starting at $60k. Unionized, funded position for 2 years.

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