Jobs

Postdoctoral Position in Sleep and Alzheimer’s Disease Research

Employer

Barcelonaβeta Brain Research Center Foundation (BBRC)

Location

Barcelona, Spain

Principal Investigator

Oriol Grau Rivera 

Contact

Please send curriculum vitae, cover letter describing research interests and relevant background, and contact information for three reference to: rh@barcelobabeta.org.
More information: https://www.barcelonabeta.org/en/bbrc-research-center/job-offers.

Description

ALFA (for ALzheimer and FAmilies) is a prospective study that follows up on a cohort of cognitively unimpaired participants, most of them first-degree descendants of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) patients. A subset of participants of the ALFA parent cohort (N»420) are currently enrolled in the ALFA+ study: a nested long-term longitudinal study aiming to understand the early pathophysiological changes of AD during its preclinical stage. These participants have already undergone a baseline visit (first follow-up visit is ongoing) including the acquisition of cognitive, neuroimaging, and fluid AD biomarkers, and are being followed up every three years.

The ALFAsleep study aims to characterize 200 cognitively healthy adults from the ALFA+ study with actigraphy and CSF orexin measurements, and a subsample of 90 participants with polysomnography (PSG). Our main goals are to identify potential sleep-based AD biomarkers, as well as characterize mechanisms linking sleep disruption and AD that may be amendable to potential therapeutic interventions. Resulting evidence from this project could be used to design an intervention study targeting sleep quality, with the ultimate goal of preventing or slowing cognitive decline.

BBRC is looking for a highly motivated postdoctoral researcher to join its team and work in the ALFAsleep project. The postdoc will work in a multidisciplinary team with clinicians, as well as experts in neuropsychology, neuroimaging, genetics, and fluid biomarkers, under the supervision of the principal investigator of the ALFA Sleep project,  Oriol Grau-Rivera.

The postdoctoral researcher’s main duty will be to analyze quantitative EEG data from the ALFAsleep study. He or she will perform power spectral analyses and other quantitative analyses of EEG data from ALFA Sleep participants who undergo a PSG at the Hospital Cínic de Barcelona Sleep Unit. The postdoctoral researcher will take the lead in this part of the ALFAsleep project and will be in charge of the experimental design of potential analyses involving the association between EEG quantitative data and cognitive, neuroimaging and fluid biomarkers data, as well as the write-up and dissemination (publications, talks and posters) of the study findings. Other responsibilities include processing and analyzing actigraphy-derived circadian data, also acquired within the project, to identify potential changes in sleep-wake cycle in preclinical AD.

Moreover, the postdoctoral researcher will be encouraged to join currently ongoing projects of our team, focused on associations between subjective and objective (actigraphy- and PSG-derived) sleep measurements and different outcomes of interest involving cognitive, genetic, neuroimaging and fluid biomarkers data from the ALFA Study, other BBRC studies and/or external open-access databases.

The appointed researcher will also be given the opportunity to pursue research questions that drive their curiosity. They will be expected to become increasingly autonomous over the course of their time at BBRC and supervise junior team members. The postdoctoral researcher will receive the mentorship needed to pursue her/his own scientific career. Funding to attend international scientific meetings will be provided.

Responsibilities

The responsibilities for this position include:

  • Lead analyses involving PSG-derived EEG quantitative data from the ALFAsleep study, including experimental design, data processing, and statistical analyses.
  • Extract and analyze circadian data from the ALFAsleep study actigraphic records.
  • Participate in other sleep-related analyses using data from the ALFAsleep study, other BBRC studies, and/or external open-access databases.
  • Assist with the instructing and training of students and fellows as required.
  • Preparing and publishing high quality scholarly papers, contributing to the academic environment of the institute.
  • Participate in applications for competitive research funding support.
  • Participate in regular internal meetings as well as external collaborations.

Requirements

Must have:

  • A Ph.D. degree (by January 2022) with background in neuroscience, psychology, engineering, computer/data science, physics, or a related field (clinicians with the technical skills further specified are also encouraged to apply).
  • Previous experience and technical expertise in quantitative EEG data analysis, preferentially sleep EEG.
  • Strong skills in statistics, data analyses, and programming (R, Python, Matlab).
  • A solid publication record with first-author research publication(s) in peer-reviewed international journals.
  • Excellent communication and writing skills in English.
  • Ability to work both independently and collaboratively.
  • A high level of motivation, drive, initiative, and enthusiasm.

Desirable but not required/ Nice to have:

  • Experience in sleep, Alzheimer’s disease, or other neurodegenerative disease research.
  • Experience in neuroimaging analysis.
  • Experience in supervising undergraduate students, leadership roles.