The introduction of the MR-linac in clinical practice now enables precise MRI-guided stereotactic radiotherapy of multiple metastases. Radiotherapy in addition to systemic therapies of metastatic disease may provide better disease control than with systemic therapy alone, as these patients often lose control of the disease due to progression of the known metastases. Essential for this approach is the pathophysiology (i.e. aggressiveness) and localization of metastases with high precision in preparation of radiotherapy.
To meet these requirements, we are developing a 1.5T wide bore MRI/PET system designed specifically for radiotherapy planning. This system aims to combine two benefits, that cannot be achieved by acquiring the MRI and PET images separately: 1) The PET scanner acquires pathophysiological information and provides precise localization by means of the superior soft-tissue contrast of the MRI. This gives information about the aggressiveness and treatment response of the tumor. 2) The MRI scanner allows for the characterization of motion by 3D MRI motion tracking, used to correct PET images that would otherwise be blurred by motion.
The project comprises the development and clinical introduction of the MRI/PET system, including first-in-man experiments. In addition, we will develop dedicated MR receive coils. The project is very diverse; it involves experiments, programming, data processing and hardware development. During the project you will be able to further develop these skills. You will work closely together with a team of engineers, physicists and physicians. This project is funded by grant from the KWF Dutch Cancer Society.
You will work within the Cancer Center and Imaging Division. Within our division, we provide high-quality patient care and research. In our team, we conduct internationally leading scientific research in the field of medical imaging techniques for treatment guidance with the goal of implementing these techniques in patient care. You will work in a team of physicists, physicians and engineers together with academic and industrial partners. Several times a year there are social, educational and scientific events organized especially for you and fellow PhD students. Also, you will be encouraged to attend international conferences with your colleagues.
You have an MSc degree in physics, electrical engineering, biomedical engineering, technical medicine, computer science or affiliated field with an affinity for medical imaging. Practical experience with MR and/or PET imaging is a plus. Because of the multidisciplinary nature of this project, you are an excellent collaborator and communicator. The safety and reliability of newly developed techniques is very important to you, as experimental tests will be conducted on volunteers and patients.
The salary for this 100% PhD position is a maximum of €3536 gross per month based on a full-time employment (36 hours) for 4 years. Our terms of employment are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for University Medical Centres (UMC). Among other things, we offer an end-of-year allowance of 8.3%, holiday allowance, a travel allowance for commuting and various training opportunities.
The deadline for the application is the 17th of April, but we may start interviews with suitable candidates prior to the deadline.