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PhD Student – Children with Head and Neck Rhabdomyosarcoma

Reageer voor: 1 november 2017
Soort dienstverband: Bepaalde tijd
Aantal uren: 36 uur per week
Vakgebied: AMC Medical Research (AMR)

The job

Rhabdomyosarcoma of the head and neck (HN RMS) is a rare type of cancer, which occurs at young age but most children survive long-term. Local treatment is essential to achieve disease control but causes debilitating long-term adverse events in the majority of survivors, including craniofacial growth deformities and functional impairment of the eyes, pituitary dysfunction, speech difficulties, and dental problems. These treatment-induced adverse events may have lifelong negative impact on quality of life. Various local treatment approaches for HN RMS (i.e., surgery, type of radiation therapy, or a combination thereof) are applied that, while comparable with respect to survival outcome, vary considerably in regard to adverse events. Prediction of adverse events is currently not possible for individual patients.

The aim of this project is to develop a decision support model that enables well-informed shared multimodal treatment decision making based on adverse event prediction for individual HN RMS patients. Hereto, the PhD student will primarily focus on the development of the treatment decision support model (i.e., facial growth simulation software and the modelling of functional impairment risks). Further, analysis of 3D stereophotogrammetry data to quantify facial growth deformities and recalculation/reconstruction of 3D radiation dose distributions will be part of the project. Together with the other researcher appointed on the project, associations between the treatment details (i.e., radiation doses and surgical procedures) on the one hand and adverse events (i.e., craniofacial deformities and functional impairments) on the other hand will be investigated.

Our department

This PhD student position is employed within the project titled “Individualized prediction of treatment-induced facial deformities and functional impairments in children with head and neck rhabdomyosarcoma”, funded by KiKa (Stichting Kinderen Kankervrij). The project is embedded in a multidisciplinary research setting involving several departments of the Emma Children’s Hospital (EKZ) – Academic Medical Center (AMC), including Pediatric Oncology, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, and Radiation Oncology as well as the 3D Lab at the department of Maxillofacial Surgery of the Radboud University Medical Center (RadboudUMC). Moreover, the project is unique in that it involves key international collaboration partners.

The appointment of the PhD student is at the AMC in Amsterdam and he/she will be at the 3D Lab in Nijmegen on average one day a week. The research team further includes another researcher, also appointed at the AMC, who will primarily focus on the clinical aspects of the project. The research team is coached by senior researchers and clinicians from EKZ-AMC and 3D Lab RadboudUMC.

Your experience

We are seeking a highly motivated candidate with:
• a M.Sc. degree in (medical) computer science, biomedical engineering, technical medicine, or other relevant degree with a strong technical background and clinical research interest;
• good programming skills (C/C++ desired);
• good background in Statistical Modelling;
• good communicative skills;
• team player in a challenging multi-disciplinary environment;
• excellent command of spoken and written English.

Our offer

Working at AMC means working in an inspiring and professional environment in which developing one’s talents and skills is encouraged. The PhD candidate will be appointed in a full-time position (36 hours/week) for a period of four years and should have completed his/her PhD thesis at the end of that period. Gross monthly salary for PhD candidates range from € 2.279,- gross per month in the first year up to € 2.919,- per month in the fourth year (in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities). In addition to this, we offer a holiday allowance of 8% of the gross yearly salary and an end-of-year bonus of 8.3%. Appointment takes place at AMC Medical Research BV.

Your application

For further information about the position, please contact Prof. dr. L.E. Smeele (e-mail: l.e.smeele@amc.nl using subject header: KikaJob).

Candidates who have not yet completed their M.Sc. program (but will soon) are also invited to respond.

Over AMC Medical Research

De AMR heeft 1.600 extern en 400 intern gefinancierde projecten in beheer. De externe subsidiegevers zijn industriepartijen, collectebusfondsen, semi-overheidsinstellingen (ZonMW, NWO) en de Europese Commissie. Deze projecten zijn onderverdeeld in de portefeuilles van 11 projectcontrollers die aangestuurd worden door het Hoofd Projectcontrol.