PhD Position - Multi-Modal Neuro-Imaging KU Leuven Neuropsychiatry Belgium


The mission of the Laboratory for Translational Neuroscience is to advance the understanding of the pathogenesis of late life psychiatric symptoms, especially the interplay between neurobiological, psychological and social factors



Understanding the aetiology of medial temporal lobe (MTL) pathology in severe late-life depression(LLD) is crucial for improving diagnostic specificity with respect to dementia and for optimisingtreatment. Given the role of tau in neurodegenerative diseases and our recent finding that hippocampalatrophy in LLD is not related to brain amyloid, we will study non-amyloid pathological brain aging inLLD using PET-MRI neuroimaging. We will investigate the relationship between white matter lesions,which are implicated in LLD, synaptic density in the hippocampus, and tau pathology and theassociation with stress. Importantly, we will also study how these findings impact upon treatment andbehaviour, by investigating (a) if electroconvulsive therapy alters hippocampal synaptic density andwhether this explains its therapeutic effect and its effect on hippocampal volume, and (b) if MTL atrophyin LLD is associated with failure of the emotional positivity effect that characterizes normal aging



- Hold a master's degree in (bio)physics, (bio)engineering, biomedical sciences, or a similar degree with an equivalent academic level
- Strong Matlab programming skills
- A profound interest in biomedical imaging
- Expertise in machine learning, PET and/or (f)MRI imaging is an advantage


- A position as a full-time (100%) PhD-student (for a total duration of 4 years, provided a positive evaluation after the first year) 
- A dynamic research environment including advanced imaging equipment in a clinical setting
- A multidisciplinary team dedicated to an exciting project
- Salary scales are set according to university regulations 
Living in Leuven:


For more information please contact Prof. dr. Jan Van den Stock, tel.: +32 16 37 78 43, mail:


You can apply for this job no later than April 30, 2019 via the online application tool

KU Leuven seeks to foster an environment where all talents can flourish, regardless of gender, age, cultural background, nationality or impairments. If you have any questions relating to accessibility or support, please contact us at

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