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PhD project MRI investigations of contracture at NeuRA (Sydney, Australia)

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  • PhD project MRI investigations of contracture at NeuRA (Sydney, Australia)

    Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA) is an international leader in brain and nervous system research, and endeavours to find the causes of and cures for neurological and psychiatric diseases.

    A postgraduate scholarship is available to support a PhD student at NeuRA. The PhD project will investigate physiological properties of skeletal muscles both in healthy people and people with muscle contractures. (Muscle contracture is a stiffening of muscles that commonly causes deformities in people with a range of conditions such as traumatic brain damage, stroke, spinal cord injury and cerebral palsy.) The PhD student will use NeuRA’s 3T MRI scanner to obtain diffusion tensor images of the muscles of people with contracture and healthy control subjects, and will analyse the diffusion tensor images using novel algorithms developed at NeuRA. The aim is to understand the mechanisms that cause stiffening of the muscles in people with muscle contractures.

    The project is suited to individuals who have a background in engineering, physics, computer science or a related discipline. Experience in 3D image analysis, computer vision or 3D kinematics would be valuable but is not essential. Good programming skills (ideally in Matlab) and excellent communication skills are essential.

    The PhD student will be supervised by Professor Rob Herbert . The PhD will be conducted through the University of New South Wales but the student will work in Professor Herbert’s laboratory at NeuRA as part of a small and friendly team of outstanding physiologists and biomechanists.

    The stipend offered for this 3-year scholarship will be equivalent to the Australian Postgraduate Award (APA) rate ($25,849 for 2015 and incremented annually). Both Australian and international applicants are welcome to apply. However international applicants are required to pay university tuition fees.

    Essential criteria: An undergraduate degree with good Honours in engineering, physics, computer science or a related discipline; eligibility for enrolment in a PhD program at the University of New South Wales;; demonstrable experience in numerical analysis programming with software such as Matlab.

    All enquiries should be directed to Professor Rob Herbert ( and Dr Bart Bolsterlee ( . Please send your application, with your curriculum vitae to Professor Herbert.
    Last edited by Krystyna Gielo-Perczak; January 21, 2015, 08:39 PM.