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PhD position: Artificial intelligence in Hepato-Pancreato-Biliary imaging

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DepartmentRadiology, Nuclear Medicine & Molecular Imaging
Work locationGroningen
Apply no later than25 February 2020

Working environment

The University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG) is one of the largest hospitals in the Netherlands and the largest employer in the Northern Netherlands. In addition to providing clinical care, there is much focus on the core research, training and education. The Department of Radiology, Nuclear Medicine & Molecular Imaging is part of the UMCG. It has well-established structural international research collaborations with academic partners. At least as important as a pleasant working environment is a pleasant living environment. Groningen is a thriving university city set in quiet, spacious surroundings.

Job description

The UMCG is a well-known expert center in treating patients with diseases of the liver, pancreas, and biliary tract. Although traditional imaging techniques such as computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) often allow for an accurate non-invasive diagnosis, this is not always the case. Uncertainty with regard to correct tissue classification often requires additional invasive tissue sampling by means of biopsy or surgery. Furthermore, in lesions whose nature is already known, traditional image interpretation may fail to recognize important biological tumor characteristics that would preclude the use of certain treatments that would prove to be ineffective on follow-up. Uncertain, inaccurate, or incomplete tissue characterization on medical imaging examinations leads to a large number of unnecessary invasive additional biopsies, surgery, and other futile treatments. This, in turn, has associated complications and negative side effects, and poses a considerable financial burden on the healthcare system.

Computers can potentially extract more information from imaging techniques such as CT or MRI, more reliably, and more accurately than human readers. Artificial Intelligence is becoming indispensable in helping to improve the diagnostic performance of traditional imaging techniques. For example, radiomics is a novel approach to medical image evaluation, in which medical images are converted into high-dimensional data to extract a large number of quantitative features that are invisible to the human eye. These quantitative features may reflect important biological characteristics that can aid in lesion characterization and in predicting clinical outcomes.

This project aims to research computer-aided diagnostic systems that will demonstrably help clinicians to get the best possible HPB diagnosis from CT and MRI. The research includes quantitative imaging biomarkers, and multivariate analysis using CT and MRI images from our large HPB patient population. State-of-the-art predictive models will be continuously evaluated and implemented in a clinical prototype for validation and feedback. Results will be presented at scientific meetings and published in journals. We will closely work with experts in medical informatics from our department, as well as with experts in this field from other Dutch universities.

What do we need

You should be a creative and enthusiastic researcher with an MSc degree in Computer Science, Data Science, Physics, Engineering or Biomedical Sciences or similar, with a clear interest in machine learning, radiomics, image analysis and an affinity with medical applications. Good communication skills and expertise in software development, preferably in Python/C++, are essential. Experience with artificial intelligence is a pre. The research should result in a PhD thesis.

The UMCG has a preventive Hepatitis B policy. The UMCG can provide you with the vaccination, should it be required for your position.

In case of specific professions a ‘Certificate of Good Conduct’ is required.

What do we offer

Your salary is € 2.422,- gross per month in the first year up to a maximum of € 3.103,- gross per month in the last fourth year (scale PhD), depending on your qualifications and relevant experience, based on a full-time appointment. In addition, the UMCG will offer you 8% holiday pay, and 8.3% end-of-year bonus. The conditions of employment comply with the Collective Labour Agreement for Medical Centres (CAO-UMC). English: http://www.nfu.nl/english/about-the-nfu/
Maximum workinghours per week is 36.

More information
For more information please contact:

  • Ms dr. D. Yakar, telephone: +31 50 361 2205, e-mail: Contact (please do not use for applications)
  • Mr dr. T.C. Kwee, telephone: +31 50 361 2205, e-mail: Contact (please do not use for applications)
  • Mr dr. R.J. de Haas, telephone: +31 50 361 2205, e-mail: Contact (please do not use for applications)

How to apply
Please use the the digital application form at the bottom of this page - only these will be processed.
You can apply until 25 February 2020.
The following should be included: CV, list of followed courses and grades, letter of motivation, and preferably a reprint or link to your Master thesis and publications in English you have written.
Within half an hour after sending the digital application form you will receive an email- confirmation with further information.