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PhD scholarship in Scoliosis Biomechanics

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  • PhD scholarship in Scoliosis Biomechanics

    Microstructure, Micromechanics, and Progressive Deformity in the Scoliotic Spine

    Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis (AIS) is the most common type of spinal deformity, affecting 2-4% of the population. In severe cases, AIS requires spinal fusion surgery, which permanently reduces spine flexibility and brings a risk of post-operative complications. For these reasons, there is growing interest in minimally invasive ‘growth modulation’ strategies which aim to correct small scoliotic deformities before they progress. Growth modulation outcomes to date have been mixed however, and future advances in this field require a better fundamental understanding of the scoliotic intervertebral joint from a structural-mechanical perspective, in particular how externally applied forces affect the internal microstructure, micromechanics, and cellular microenvironment of the joint.

    The Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation at Queensland University of Technology (QUT) in Brisbane, Australia, in collaboration with Laboratoire de Biomécanique (LBM) at Ecole Nationale Supérieure D’Arts et Métiers (ENSAM) in Paris, France, are offering an exciting scholarship opportunity for an excellent PhD candidate in the area of multi-scale biomechanical modelling and characterisation of the scoliotic intervertebral joint. The PhD will be based at QUT in Brisbane, Australia, however the successful candidate will be expected to spend up to 12 months of the PhD working at LBM in Paris during the second year of the three year project. The successful candidate will have access to advanced biomechanical testing, imaging, and simulation capabilities and supervision by senior spine researchers at both institutions.

    The scholarship will be awarded to an exceptional candidate with a Masters or first class/upper second class honours degree in Medical Engineering, Bioengineering, Mechanical Engineering, Biophysics, or a closely related discipline. Demonstrated ability to undertake biomechanical experiments on biological tissue samples is essential (biomechanical testing, data acquisition and analysis). Research experience with biomedical imaging (magnetic resonance imaging, micro-computed tomography and optical microscopy) and image processing is also strongly desirable. French language ability would be an advantage but is not essential.

    The scholarship is funded by a generous bequest to Queensland University of Technology from the estate of the late Florence Wilson. The successful applicant will receive a fee waiver scholarship and a living allowance scholarship of $32,500AUD per annum for up to 3 years. The expected commencement date range for the successful applicant is 1st July-30th Sept 2011. Potential candidates should send a letter of interest outlining educational qualifications, relevant skills and prior experience, as well as a full Curriculum Vitae to Associate Professor Clayton Adam, Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation, Queensland University of Technology ( by 31st March 2011.