PhD or Post-doctoral position - Quantification and analysis of three-dimensional brain microvascular architecture in human health and disease
Academic context: This PhD/Post-doc position is part of the interdisciplinary Brain Micro Flow project (20142019) awarded to Sylvie Lorthois (www.imft.fr/LORTHOIS-Sylvie,126) under the European Research Council Consolidator grant scheme (http://erc.europa.eu/consolidator-grants). Her group focuses on modelling the structure and function of brain microcirculation at various scales. The Brain Micro Flow project also involves the Department of Biomedical Engineering of Cornell University (USA) for advanced in vivo optical imaging and manipulation of cerebral blood flow and the INSERM "Cerebral Imaging and Neurological Handicaps Laboratory", Toulouse, for its unique expertise in human intra-cortical micro-anatomy.
Scientific context: The cerebral microvascular system is essential to a large variety of physiological processes in the brain, including blood delivery and blood flow regulation as a function of neuronal activity (neuro-vascular coupling). It plays a major role in the associated processes leading to disease (stroke, neurodegenerative diseases) but the comprehension of the basic mechanisms involved is still largely incomplete. For example, while the vascular component of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is now clearly established, with microvascular lesions, abnormal vascular topology, reduced total microvascular density and reduction in blood flow, the question whether these vascular abnormalities participate in the onset or progression of the disease is still totally open. To answer this question, quantitative knowledge of the three-dimensional brain microvascular network anatomy and large-scale structuration in healthy and diseased humans is needed.
Project summary: Our group has previously developed new methodologies for reconstruction and quantitative analysis of microvascular networks from 3D anatomical data spanning large fields of view (~ mm3 to 10 mm3) of the human cortex imaged post-mortem at unprecedented spatial resolution (~ 1 to 3 µm). However, the large quantitative data library on human brain microcirculation analyzed so far only concerns a few number of cortical areas and individuals. No equivalent library has been obtained in pathological conditions, including AD. The successful applicant will participate to the acquisition of new microscopic data representative of several brain areas and several conditions, including AD. Alongside the optimization of tools used for image registration, thresholding and vessel skeletonization, he/she will perform a statistical analysis of morphometric and topologic parameter variations between brain areas and conditions. Comparison with data from corresponding rodent models acquired at Cornell University will be performed, allowing a long-term study (several months) of the brain vascular network in the same animal and of the corresponding functional changes (blood flow, transfers).
Nr of positions available : 1
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Engineering - Biomedical engineering
Medical sciences - Medicine
Neurosciences - Neurology
Early stage researcher or 0-4 yrs (Post graduate)
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