PhD position available in “the Balanced Hand Project”, Amsterdam,
the Netherlands

The ‘Balanced Hand’ project is a centre of expertise for the surgical
treatment of the spastic hand in patients with cerebral palsy. Its
goal is to present clinical and scientific information collected by
the collaboration of three specialized departments in Amsterdam, the


The purpose of your research is to develop a model of the upper
extremity of patients with cerebral palsy that explains their
deformed movement patterns. Clinically, it is our intention to use
this model to predict the effects of tendon transfer surgery. For
that, relevant determinants need to be defined and experimental data
of these determinants need to be collected.

Practically, this means that you are evaluating patients before and
after surgery and will perform kinetic and kinematic evaluations of
arm movements. During surgery, you will perform muscle biomechanical
experiments and collect samples of muscles for histological and
biomechanical analysis.

It is likely that part of the model development and evaluation will
be done using human cadaver material or animal models.


A MSc-degree in movement science, biomedical engineering, or a
related study with a strong emphasis on biomechanics and/or muscle
physiology. The ambition to participate in “translational research”,
combining both fundamental research with work in a clinical setting
is essential.


The “balanced hand project “is a cooperation between the Dept.
Plastic Reconstructive and Hand Surgery of the Academic Medical
Center, and the Faculty of Human Movement Sciences of the Vrije
Universiteit Amsterdam, and aims at development of expertise on the
surgical treatment of the upper extremity in spastic paresis in
cerebral palsy.

The research focuses on biomechanical study of the behavior of
spastic muscles before and after tendon transfer, three-dimensional
analysis of upper extremity movement patterns, and the evaluation of
function before and after treatment. The ultimate goal is to optimize
the treatment strategy in these patients.

see also

The position will be on a temporary contract for 4 years, 36 hrs a
week. Salary 1937,- euro in the first year, to 2482,- euro in the
last year, including social security reimbursement.

For Additional information:

Dr. Mark J.C. Smeulders, Human Movement Scientist

Dr. Mick Kreulen, Plastic surgeon

Dr. DirkJan Veeger, Human Movement Scientist

Please post replies before 15 May to:

Dr. M.J.C. Smeulders

Research director 'Hand in Balans'-group

Afdeling plastische, reconstructieve en handchirurgie, Room G4-254

P.O. box 22660 , 1100 DD Amsterdam, The Netherlands,

Or by e-mail to: