PhD Position in Imaging of Microvascular Health

Catholic University of Leuven


A position is available for a strongly motivated graduate student who will be co-supervised between the department of Cardiovascular Sciences and the department of Imaging and Pathology at KU Leuven (Belgium). The work involves state of the art MRI facilities including a horizontal bore small animal MRI system (9.4 Tesla, Bruker Biospec) and a MRI/PET (7.0 Tesla, Bruker Biospec 70/30 coupled with Albira Si PET insert). Project Comorbidities (hypertension, hyperlipidaemia, diabetes, obesity and aging) lead to a range of diseases including heart failure and dementia. A decrease in capillary vessel density within a tissue, called microvascular rarefaction, is a common feature of these comorbidities. The brain and the heart are especially sensitive to rarefaction because they have high oxygen demands. The overall aim of the project is to identify novel imaging techniques (MRI/PET) and biomarkers (circulating or other) to identify microvascular rarefaction and general microvascular health.


  • Youwill have your own dedicated research project studying vessel rarefaction inheart failure. Specifically, you will be investigated means to detectmicrovascular rarefaction using a combination of rat and mouse models. You willbe using imaging modalities (MRI, PET, OCT angiography) as well as identifyingcomplementary biochemical markers.
  • Youwill be responsible for administration and execution of the project. This willrequire animal handling, performing echocardiographies, performing MRI/PETimaging. Youwill be responsible for the quantitative analysis of the acquired MRI data sets.
  • Youwill image the retinas using OCT angiography.
  • Theposition also involves a significant amount of molecular biology (FACS, qPCR,etc).
  • Youwill be expected to present the work at conferences, lab meeting, anddepartmental meetings.
  • You will writescientific publications and assist in the writing of research grants


  • The candidate musthave a PhD in a relevant discipline (Biomedical Sciences, Radiology, MedicalPhysics). You are expected to have a background in medical imaging (practical preferred,but classroom learning is a minimum).
  • Enjoyingscientific work in the field of medical physics and magnetic resonance imaging.
  • Experience in machinelearning would be a bonus.
  • Strong interest inpursuing a career in research.
  • Your salary is set byuniversity regulations for PhD salaries.
  • The candidate must bea highly motivated, enthusiastic and efficient researcher.
  • Good communicationskills in English.


The position is to complete a4-year PhD program.  Your initialappointment will be for 2 years that will be extended for 2 additional years,provided satisfactory progression in the PhD program.


For more information please contact Prof. dr. Elizabeth Jones, mail:

You can apply for this job no later than January 01, 2020 via the
KU Leuven seeks to foster an environment where all talents can flourish, regardless of gender, age, cultural background, nationality or impairments. If you have any questions relating to accessibility or support, please contact us at
  • Employment percentage: Voltijds
  • Location: Leuven
  • Apply before: January 1, 2020
  • Tags: Cardiovasculaire wetenschappen
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