2 PhD Positions in Spine Biomechanics

University of Bern
June 11, 2023
Offerd Salary:Negotiation
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2 PhD Positions in Spine Biomechanics

The Spinal Movement Biomechanics Group of the Bern University of Applied Sciences and the Computational Bioengineering Group of the University of Bern have 2 PhD positions available in spine biomechanics to develop personalized numerical models aimed at improving the conservation treatments of scoliosis by determining loads on the vertebral endplate during novel corrective exercises, and modeling spinal growth in patients with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis. You will be part of an interdisciplinary project funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) and conducted in collaboration with Harvard Medical School (USA) and Montréal Polytechnique (Canada) as well as the Bern University Hospital (Inselspital) and the University Children's Hospital Basel (UKBB).

Your tasks

Position 1 (focus on vertebral endplate stress modeling):

  • Coordinate and perform motion capture measurements.
  • Determination of muscle and mass distribution parameters from high-field MRI scans.
  • Develop and validate personalized musculoskeletal and finite element models to simulate effect of novel corrective exercises on vertebral endplate loading.
  • Position 2 (focus on spinal growth modeling):

  • Calculation of passive stiffness properties from biplanar radiographs under spinal distraction.
  • Quantification of vertebral growth from longitudinal high-field MRI scans.
  • Development and validation of spinal growth models.
  • Simulation of the effects of novel corrective exercises on spinal growth.
  • Qualifications required

  • Master's degree in (biomedical) engineering, physics, computer science, or similar field.
  • Experience and/or course work in musculoskeletal and/or finite element modeling
  • Solid programming skills in MATLAB and/or Python
  • Strong communication skills in English required (main working language) and knowledge of German language desired (patient contact)
  • We offer

  • Creative and international environment to conduct competitive research in an interdisciplinary team.
  • 4-year positions with competitive salary (according to SNSF guidelines)
  • Strong ties to university hospitals providing insight on how computer models can benefit patients.
  • Possibility of secondments to Montréal Polytechnique for the position focused on spinal growth modeling.
  • Expected starting date in summer/fall 2023.
  • Application

    Interested candidates should send their detailed resumes with references, motivation letter, abstract of your MSc thesis, and school transcripts to PD Dr. Stefan Schmid ([email protected]) and Prof. Dr. Philippe Büchler ([email protected]).

    About the institutions

    The School of Health Professions is one of eight departments of the Bern University of Applied Sciences, consisting of the divisions Physiotherapy, Nutrition and Dietetics, Obstetrics, and Nursing, as well as the Institute for Health Economics and Health Policy, the Competence Centre for Participatory Health Care, and the Competence Centre for Interprofessionalism. In close cooperation with its partners, the school conducts practice-relevant, impactoriented and sustainable research in the fields of psychosocial health, health promotion, prevention, assessments, interventions, outcomes and the progressive development of qualified personnel.

    The ARTORG Center for Biomedical Engineering Research is the University of Bern's transdisciplinary Center of Excellence for medical technology research. Its mission is to tackle unmet clinical needs and envision future challenge in diagnosis, monitoring and treatment to create viable healthcare technology solutions with imagination, agility and purpose. Its projects run from discovery and basic research to clinical translation.

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