PhD Position in Modelling Cerebrovascular Autoregulation Lab Animal Data to Build a Patient Autoregulation Monitor
Catholic University of Leuven

The multidisciplinary Leuven Neurotrauma Research Group (L’NRG) at Biomedical Sciences consists of a close collaboration of the internationally renowned research teams of Experimental Neurosurgery and Intensive Care Medicine. The group is composed of academic and research staff and combines an animal research laboratory and a large intensive care unit (67 beds, over 3,000 admissions of critically ill patients including neurological and neurosurgical patients), both located at the Health Sciences Campus Gasthuisberg in Leuven. L’NRG has established a cranial window porcine model for the study of cerebrovascular autoregulation (patho)physiology and holds a tradition in applying computational techniques in secondary insult monitoring and prediction modeling in acute brain injury. The ultimate goal of L’NRG is to develop smart monitoring tools that are effective in helping clinicians in decision-making and improving outcomes. The unique setting of close interaction between clinicians and researchers allows to swiftly translate from bench to bedside and vice-versa.


Traumatic brain injury can lead to devastating consequences for the patient and his family and is the number one cause of death and disability in young people. Medical management consists of the prevention, early detection and treatment of secondary insults that cause additional damage to the brain. Cerebrovascular autoregulation is an ingenious protective physiological mechanism that ensures sufficient cerebral blood flow in spite of varying blood pressure and other threats to homeostasis, that is however often impaired after traumatic brain injury. This impairment has been recognized as an extremely important threat to good outcome, and steering blood pressure based on its monitoring could mean a potential breakthrough in management. However, validated methods to monitor cerebrovascular autoregulation do not exist to date. In our lab, we have collected a tremendous amount of physiological data through studying arteriolar diameter and flow changes in response to changes in blood pressure and PaCO2 in a cranial window piglet model, instrumented with monitoring tools that can also be used in patients in the intensive care unit. The goal of the current project is to develop a mathematical model of cerebrovascular autoregulation with monitoring data as input, in order to build a validated patient autoregulation monitor.


The candidate should have a strong academic record and a Masters diploma in the fields of Bio-informatics,Computer Science, Mathematics or Engineering.

Knowledge of data analysis,statistics, machine learning and good programming skills are essential. Knowledge of R, Matlab, Python and/or Weka is an advantage.

Previous research experience is a plus, but not essential.

The candidate should be able to work independently, take initiative, adopt critical judgment and demonstrate ability to work in team. The candidate should be motivated to work with clinicians, in the design, development, and evaluation of bedside monitor. This will require visits to the intensive care unit, at the bedside, as an observer without being directly involved in patient care.

Proficiency in written and spoken English is crucial.

The selected candidate is expected to write a doctoral thesis on her/his research after 4 years.


The candidate is offered:

-         A full time PhD position in an international research team at KU Leuven. The KU Leuven is one of Europe's leading research universities and tops Reuters ranking of Europe's most innovative universities. L’NRG offers a dynamic and intellectually challenging environment, in close collaboration with experts from a wide variety of domains.

-         A thorough scientific education, and the possibility to become a world-class researcher.

-         The possibility to participate in international conferences and collaborations.


Formore information please contact

-         Prof. dr. Bart Depreitere, tel.: +3216344290,e-mail:; or

-         Mr. Fabian Guiza Grandas, tel.: +3216379153,

Youcan apply for this job no later than September 21 2020 via the onlineapplication tool.

KULeuven seeks to foster an environment where all talents can flourish,regardless of gender, age, cultural background, nationality or impairments. Ifyou have any questions relating to accessibility or support, please contact usat

Solliciteren voor deze vacature kan tot en met 21/09/2020 via onze
KU Leuven wil een omgeving creëren waarin alle talenten maximaal tot ontplooiing kunnen komen, ongeacht gender, leeftijd, culturele herkomst, nationaliteit of functiebeperking. Hebt u vragen in verband met toegankelijkheid of ondersteuningsmogelijkheden, dan kan u ons contacteren via
  • Employment percentage: Voltijds
  • Location: Leuven
  • Apply before: September 21, 2020
  • Tags: Computerwetenschappen

If you apply for this position please say you saw it on Bioloxy


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