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Postdoc on ultrasound molecular imaging with targeted contrast agents

  • Research & Education
  • 36 hours
  • Biomedical Engineering

  • Closing date 01-11-2021
  • 25.18.21.TT

Job description

We are looking for a postdoctoral researcher (1 year with possible extension to 2.5 years, full-time) in ultrasound imaging to develop molecular ultrasound imaging of bacterial biofilm infections on cardiac devices. Cardiac device infections such as on pacemakers, prosthetic valves, and left ventricular assist devices have high mortality rates. Accurate diagnosis of these infections at an early stage is critical because a delay in diagnosis is associated with increased mortality. Ultrasound imaging is currently the primary diagnostic modality. However, it lacks specificity and sensitivity because the signal from the bacteria is similar to the signal of healthy tissue or the cardiac device, thus making accurate diagnosis challenging. Targeted ultrasound contrast agents, i.e. targeted microbubbles, can specifically bind to the bacterial biofilms, making ultrasound molecular imaging possible so the infection can be detected using transthoracic echocardiography with high specificity and sensitivity.

You will be responsible for developing and evaluating ultrasound pulsing schemes to detect the targeted microbubbles in vitro, ex vivo on patient material, and preclinically in vivo. For this, you will closely collaborate with researchers investigating targeted microbubbles for therapy, and in consultation with experts from the Dept. of Cardiology and Medical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases. Supervision of students is expected from you.

The BUBBLE CURE project will result in a novel multidisciplinary technology that allows accurate diagnosis and treatment of cardiac device-related bacterial biofilm infections. The project is part of a research line in translational biomedical research, made possible by a personal grant from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement No 805308) to the principal investigator Dr. K. Kooiman. By combining targeted microbubbles and ultrasound we aim to develop advanced ultrasound diagnostic and therapeutic technologies for cardiac-device related bacterial biofilm infections. The full project team will comprise of 6 people and is embedded in the Biomedical Engineering group, part of the Department of Cardiology.

Work environment

Thoraxcenter Biomedical Engineering is a group of 80 researchers performing highly innovative research in cardiovascular diagnosis and therapy. We focus on translational research in imaging with ultrasound and light, ultrasound contrast agents for molecular imaging and drug delivery and vascular biomechanics.

Qualifications and skills

The candidate must be able to show expert knowledge of ultrasound pulsing schemes and ultrasound imaging. This includes demonstrated experience with open research scanners and signal processing, preferably also on ultrasound contrast agents for (molecular) imaging. Experience with preclinical studies is highly welcome.

Candidates are expected to have a PhD in a relevant field, such as ultrasound imaging or related, and preferably have experience in interdisciplinary projects. You have a can-do attitude, good publication record and scientific writing and communication skills, and are able to work autonomously. You are expeted to write scientific publications and give conference presentations on the outcome of the project.

Before you apply please check our conditions for employment.

Terms of employment

The appointment is for 1 year which can be extended to a maximum of 2.5 years. The gross monthly salary amounts a maximum of € 4.615- scale 10, depending on your level of education and relevant experience and based on a full-time working week of 36 hours. The terms of employment are in accordance with the Collective Bargaining Agreement for University Medical Centers (CAO UMC).

Information and application

For more information about this position, please contact Dr. Klazina Kooiman, Associate Professor and Principal investigator of the BUBBLE CURE project, phone number: +31 (0)10 704 4036 or e-mail: For queries regarding your application, please contact Jeanette dos Santos Gomes, Recruiter, by phone number: +31 (0)6 500 310 07.

If you are excited by the thought of this position and would like to apply, please do so by using the application form on our website.

No agencies please.

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