Jobs

Postdoctoral Research - MRI/PET

Employer

University of Pennsylvania

Location

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Principal Investigator

Corey McMillan

Contact

Please address any questions to Dr. Corey McMillan: mcmillac@pennmedicine.upenn.edu.

Description

The Penn Frontotemporal Degeneration Center (FTDC), Alzheimer's Disease Research Center (ADRC), and Penn Image Computing Science Laboratory (PICSL) are rapidly growing and seeking postdoctoral fellowship candidates for several newly created postdoctoral positions. Together, the FTDC, ADRC, and PICSL have a rich history of more than 25 years collaborating on clinical-translational research that benefits from clinical and pathological expertise in aging and neurodegeneration combined with engineering expertise in state-of-the-art software tool development that includes Advanced Normalization Tools (ANTs), ITK-SNAP, and ASHS. Examples of current research projects range from MR acquisition to clinical research including:

  • High-field 7T pulse sequence development for imaging cortical layers of in vivo and postmortem human brain.
  • Novel diffusion acquisition approaches at 3T and 7T MRI and implementation of novel diffusion tractography analysis pipelines.
  • Whole hemisphere and medial temporal lobe 7T and 9.4T postmortem imaging.
  • Digital histology approaches including deep learning and machine learning to quantify molecular burden of neurodegenerative proteinopathies.
  • Imaging-pathological correlations relating in vivo, postmortem, and histology to neurodegeneration.
  • Graph theoretic and signal network analyses of structural T1 (sMRI), Diffusion MRI (dMRI), and resting state functional MRI (fMRI).
  • State-of-the art arterial spin labelling (ASL) acquisition and signal processing.
  • Imaging-genomics analyses relating sMRI, dMRI, and fMRI to deep genomic datasets including SNP genotype, DNA methylation, and RNA transcriptomic arrays.
  • PET imaging of neurodegenerative proteins (e.g., amyloid, tau) and associated pathways (e.g., neuroinflammation, metabolism).
  • Hypothesis-driven and data-driven multimodal analyses of MRI, PET, neuropathological, biofluid biomarker, and clinical datasets to address clinical-translation research questions.

Housed in adjacent laboratories and state-of-the-art facilities, the FTDC, ADRC, and PICSL environment is highly interdisciplinary with experts in biomarkers and cognitive neuroscience (David Wolk), bioinformatics (Corey McMillan), neuropathology (David Irwin, Eddie Lee), image acquisition (Dylan Tisdall and John Detre), and image processing (James Gee, Paul Yushkevich, Sandhitsu Das). The labs also work very closely with many other faculty members in associated research centers at the University of Pennsylvania including the Institute on Aging (IoA), Center for Neurodegenerative Disease Research (CNDR), Penn Neurodegeneration of Genomics Center (PNGC), and Penn Institute for Biomedical Informatics (IBI).

UPenn is currently seeking several candidates who have a Ph.D. (or are near completion) in a relevant area (e.g., neuroscience, neurology, bioengineering, data science, biostatistics, etc.). Candidates should have a strong interest in using or desire to use one of the above research areas to either answer fundamental questions about aging and neurodegeneration or develop state-of-the-art neuroimaging methods for the broader community. 

Additionally, eligible postdoctoral applicants (U.S. citizens or nationals) may participate in an NIH-funded T32 training program in cross-disciplinary translational neuroimaging of ADRD. This program provides two years of support for predoctoral and postdoctoral trainees from both biological and quantitative science backgrounds with the training required to develop a research career focusing on neuroimaging in ADRD. A core course curriculum will cover neuroimaging methods and additionally include specialized training in the Responsible Conduct of Research, Experimental Rigor, and Transparency and its application to neuroimaging.

This program has three research specializations:

  • Imaging Disease Mechanisms (e.g., animal models, PET tracer development)
  • Biomarkers and Neuroimaging Trials (e.g., diagnostic MRI/PET biomarkers)
  • Statistical and Computational Approaches (e.g., imaging-genomics, AI, machine learning)

Applicants from diverse or underrepresented backgrounds are encouraged to apply. The University of Pennsylvania adheres to a policy that prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, creed, national or ethnic origin, citizenship status, age, disability, veteran status, or any other legally protected class.

Requirements

Penn is currently seeking several candidates who have a Ph.D. (or are near completion) in a relevant area (e.g., neuroscience, neurology, bioengineering, data science, biostatistics, etc.). Candidates should have a strong interest or desire in using one of the above research areas to either answer fundamental questions about aging and neurodegeneration or develop state-of-the-art neuroimaging methods for the broader community.