PhD Student position at the BCBL - language neurobiology

Application deadline:

A predoctoral position to work on a translational research project is available in the Neurobiology of Language group, headed by Dr. Manuel Carreiras, at Basque Center on Cognition, Brain, and Language (BCBL).  The appointment is for four years. Starting date is flexible. The project is aimed at investigating to what extent the human brain connectome could be used to identify biomarkers of postsurgical cognitive recovery using presurgical neuro-anatomical and functional information in patients with diffuse low-grade glioma (DLGG).

Project summary: DLGG is a primary brain tumor affecting young individuals in full possession of his/her cognitive faculties. The slow growth of this type of lesion allows the brain to reorganize its structure and functions hampering the onset of the cognitive symptoms. However, DLGG unavoidably evolves to become a more invasive type of tumor, at the expense of both survival and cognitive functional prognosis. This translational project lies at the nexus of neurosergery, neuroscience, biomedical imaging, computer science and statistics. Its long-term goal is to build an accurate and reliable model capable of predicting patient’s postsurgical cognitive recovery. This is a primary need, for both clinicians and patients, promoting better outcomes for surgeries, longer life expectancy and better quality of life for patients. The tools we are planning to develop will allow surgical teams to tailor interventions on a patient-by-patient basis, both before and after the surgery. By applying machine learning algorithms using a compendium of clinical, behavioral, structural, and connectomic features from a large sample of individuals with DLGG and healthy controls we will be able to investigate how the appearance of a brain lesion impacts brain network dynamics, and whether this network malleability represents an adaptive advantage for post-surgery brain recovery processes.

Job description: The selected candidate will participate in several studies that combine clinical parameters, behavioral and neuroimaging data. His/her work will be focused (though not exclusively) on the acquisition, processing and analysis of functional and diffusion images (DTI) of pathological and healthy participants. The candidate will have the opportunity to be involved in a translational research project where clinical research groups, neuroimaging and basic research collaborate and will be able to develop the doctoral thesis project in the field of neuroimaging and neuroplasticity. In addition, the selected candidate will have access to cutting edge research facilities, including MEG, EEG, fMRI, eye-tracking and psychophysics laboratories.

PI and research group: Dr. Manuel Carreiras - Neurobiology of Language group.