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Post-doctoral Scholar Position: Kinematic Closed Loop for Parkinson's Disease - Stanford University

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  • Post-doctoral Scholar Position: Kinematic Closed Loop for Parkinson's Disease - Stanford University

    The Human Motor Control and Neuromodulation Lab under Dr. Bronte-Stewart (https://med.stanford.edu/bronte-stewart-lab.html), part of the Stanford Movement disorders Center within the Department of Neurology and Neurological Sciences at Stanford University’s School of Medicine, is seeking a postdoctoral student to investigate the safety and tolerability of a kinematic closed-loop deep brain stimulation system targeting gait impairment and freezing of gait in Parkinson’s disease.

    The goal of the research in the laboratory is to understand the pathophysiology of movement disorders such as Parkinson’s disease. At Stanford, innovations in neural interface technology have allowed us to discover how abnormal electrical brain activity contributes to disorders in movement. In the Human Motor Control and Neuromodulation Lab, the first decoding of electrical activity in deep brain structures during abnormal movement in Parkinson’s disease patients was performed using novel and investigative sensing neurostimulators. Our team has deconstructed brain activity to discover both the neural code responsible and kinematic quantification for the abnormality of walking in Parkinson’s disease, and can predict debilitating freezing events that can cause falls, significant morbidity, and even death. This has enabled us to reverse engineer brain circuitry and restore movement in Parkinson’s disease using the first closed loop, demand-based brain pacemakers that respond to neural and kinematic markers of movement impairment.

    The current position offers the exciting opportunity to work with the next generation of sensing neurostimulators that have the ability to modulate deep brain stimulation parameters in real-time using kinematic signals extracted from wearable sensors. The aim of the current work is to evaluate the safety and tolerability of adjusting stimulation based on kinematic metrics to improve gait impairment and freezing of gait (FOG) in Parkinson’s disease and is funded by the NIH Brain Initiative. Additionally, the position offers the chance to further the development of subject-specific models of FOG based on wearable sensor and/or neural data. The current position offers an exceptional opportunity for biomechanists and neuroengineers with experience and interest in wearable sensors, closed-loop, and/or brain computer interfaces.

    The desired candidate would have a PhD in Biomedical or mechanical engineering, neuroscience, or a related discipline with experience working with wearable sensors for gait and/or PD. Start date is flexible.

    Job Requirements:
    Required:
    • PhD in Biomedical engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Neuroscience or related disciplines
    • Experience working with wearable sensors (Inertial Measurement Units, etc.) and analyzing kinematic data
    • Expertise in gait or biomechanics
    • Comfortable analyzing data in Matlab or Python
    • Ability to work well in a diverse team
    • Effective oral and written communication skills
    • Excellent organization skills and demonstrated ability to complete detailed work accurately
    • Excellent problem-solving ability

    Preferred:
    • Experience analyzing PD-related gait data
    • Experience with Java or C#
    • Proficiency using github or other forms of version control

    How to Apply:
    Apply by sending the following to Kevin Wilkins (wilkins2@stanford.edu):
    • CV
    • Cover letter describing interest and relevant experience for the project.
    • Three potential reference contacts
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