The Human Resources Strategy for Researchers

PhD candidate at the School for Oncology and Developmental Biology, Department of Imaging

This job offer has expired

    Maastricht University (UM)
    Medical sciences
    First Stage Researcher (R1)
    22/07/2021 23:59 - Europe/Brussels
    Netherlands › Maastricht


Project description:
Positron Emission Tomography (PET) measures and visualizes cellular and molecular processes in vivo. With the broad availability of on-site 68Ge/68Ga-generators, 68Ga-labeled radioligands are extensively used in PET imaging of various tumors. Consequently, optimal 68Ga-PET imaging is highly important for staging and follow-up of oncological diseases. However, PET imaging is generally optimized for 18F which is the most frequently used PET radionuclide in clinical practice. Therefore, off-the-shelf reconstruction and processing algorithms don’t take into account the specific physical characteristics of other PET radionuclides such as a larger positron range which is especially relevant for 68Ga. This larger positron range, due to the emission of higher energy positrons, results in a degraded spatial resolution of 68Ga-PET imaging which in turn leads to a suboptimal quantification and detection of small tumor lesions and thereby hampers the diagnostic accuracy of 68Ga-PET imaging.

For this PhD, we will focus on a 68Ga-specific modeling of the PET detector response such that an optimal and uniform spatial resolution and image quality can be achieved for 68Ga imaging, in line with the reconstructed resolution and image quality for 18F-PET imaging. Next to a 68Ga-specific PET reconstruction approach, we will focus on deep learning encoder decoder networks to reduce the impact of noise on the image quality and to recover high count PET data with from low count measurements. This will allow an overall reduction of the administered dose and radiation burden to patients and increase the cost effectiveness of 68Ga-PET imaging procedures as currently neuroendocrine tumor and prostate cancer targeting 68Ga radioligands have been increasingly employed. Optimization and thorough validation of this 68Ga-specific corrections algorithm will be performed through realistic simulations as well as real-life measurements on PET/CT and PET/MRI systems available at the KU Leuven and Maastricht University Medical Center+ (MUMC+). Finally, the image quality, quantification and lesion detectability of the newly developed 68Ga-specific reconstruction algorithm will be compared to commercially available reconstruction algorithms and clinically evaluated for oncologic 68Ga-PET imaging in a prospective patient study to demonstrate the added diagnostic value.

More Information


We offer a full-time position, in a multidisciplinary, international and exciting research environment embedded in clinics with a variety of medical imaging modalities. As this vacancy concerns a joint position in the Maastricht University Medical Center+ and KU Leuven, you will have the possibility to work in the center of Europe, close to all major European cities in a region with a high quality of life.

This position is offered for four years. The first year will be a probation period, after a positive assessment the position will be extended for another 3 years, which happens in the vast majority of cases.

Your salary would be € 2.395,- gross per month in the first year up to € 3.061,- gross per month in the fourth year according to the PhD-candidate salary scale. An 8% holiday and an 8.3% year-end allowance is also provided. Each year an evaluation will take place.

The terms of employment of Maastricht University are set out in the Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities (CAO). Furthermore, local UM provisions also apply. For more information look at the website http://www.maastrichtuniversity.nl > Support > UM employees.

Selection process

You can send your application, with a current CV and motivation letter, to:

Please mention also the vacancy number/job number (AT2021.277) and the project name in your application.

Maastricht University is committed to promoting and nurturing a diverse and inclusive community. We believe that diversity in our staff and student population contributes to the quality of research and education at UM, and strive to enable this through inclusive policies and innovative projects led by teams of staff and students. We encourage you to apply for this position.

Additional comments

For more information about this position, please contact:
Dr. ir. Roel Wierts, Roel.wierts@mumc.nl or +31433874071.

To apply at this vacancy, press the button ‘apply now’ to see the application procedure.

Web site for additional job details

Offer Requirements

Specific Requirements

We are looking for a highly motivated candidate with preferably a master’s degree in (medical) physics, mathematics, computer sciences or (bio)engineering. Students currently in the final year of their Master’s are certainly encouraged to apply. As a candidate, you have a high interest in medical imaging, algorithm development and image analysis. In addition, you eagerly want to learn about the biomedical/biological interpretation of quantitative data in close interaction with medical doctors. Therefore, good communication and interpersonal skills as well as good English proficiency are mandatory. In addition, you should be able to work independently, take initiative, and do creative problem solving.

Work location(s)
1 position(s) available at
Maastricht University
6229 GR
Universiteitssingel 40

EURAXESS offer ID: 661888
Posting organisation offer ID: 302591


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