Sano PhD Student: The Role of Structural and Functional Heterogeneity in Digital Twin Hearts

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    Sano Centre for Computational Personalized Medicine
    Computer science
    First Stage Researcher (R1)
    28/02/2022 23:00 - Europe/Brussels
    Poland › Kraków


Sano PhD Student

Project title: The Role of Structural and Functional Heterogeneity in Digital Twin Hearts

Publication date: 08.02.2022

Closing date: 28.02.2022

Level of education required: Master's degree

Hours: 40 hours per week

Salary indication: up to PLN 8000 gross monthly


Sano: Dr Zbigniew R. Struzik (Modelling and Simulation Research Group Leader)

Project start: April 2022 (but depends on Candidate’s availability)

Degree Awarding Institution: University of Graz

You will take part in a joint project between Sano Science Institute, University of Graz and University of Sheffield and will be guided by a world class team from these institutions. Your PhD degree will be awarded by the University of Graz.

The primary question to be addressed in this project is whether electrophysiological heterogeneity at both structural and functional levels can be incorporated in digital cohort/twin models of the whole human heart. If so, how are we to approach this in Digital Twin models considering two particular examples of inhomogeneous conductance:

i) that due to the arrangement of myocardial fibres;

ii) that due to the Purkinje network.

The aim is to investigate the degree to which structural and functional heterogeneity of conductance at the tissue level affects organ (system) level cardiac dynamics. To this end, methodologies should be devised with the purpose of implementing such heterogeneity using realistic parameterized models and investigating the resultant system dynamics. The phase space of system behaviour is to be discerned and quantified, including specific sensitivity to key parameters in order to provide guidelines on how to incorporate heterogeneity at tissue level in the preparation of patient specific Digital Twin Hearts.

Automatic generation methods and software tools drawing on data available from atlases, ex vivo scanning data and possible imaging techniques anticipated to be available in the near future must be prepared. This is particularly important for identifying the parameters and parameter ranges capturing most controllability/sensitivity in the system, and is thus deemed absolutely essential for the success of the personalized Digital Twin Hearts.

What are you going to do?

You are expected to:

  • do original research in this field under the direction of the supervisor;
  • participate in the many seminars by internal and external speakers, as well as journal clubs and group activities;
  • collaborate with other PhD candidates, postdoctoral researchers and Sano employees.


[1] Plank G. et al., The openCARP simulation environment for cardiac electrophysiology, Computer Methods and Programs in Biomedicine (2021), doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cmpb.2021.106223

[2] Neic A. et al., Automating image-based mesh generation and manipulation tasks in cardiac modeling workflows using Meshtool , SoftwareX 11 (2020) 100454, doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.softx.2020.100454

[3] Piersanti R. et al., Modeling cardiac muscle fibers in ventricular and atrial electrophysiology simulations, Computer Methods in Applied Mechanics and Engineering, Vol 373, 1 January 2021, 113468, doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cma.2020.113468

[4] Chabiniok R. et al., 2016 Multiphysics and multiscale modelling, data-model fusion and integration of organ physiology in the clinic: ventricular cardiac mechanics, Interface Focus 6: 20150083. http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsfs.2015.0083

[5] Costabal F.S. et al., Generating Purkinje networks in the human heart, J Biomech, 16 August 2016, 49(12): 2455–2465. doi:10.1016/j.jbiomech.2015.12.025

[6] Strocchi M, et al., His-bundle and left bundle pacing with optimized atrioventricular delay achieve superior electrical synchrony over endocardial and epicardial pacing in left bundle branch block patients, Heart Rhythm, Vol 17, No 11, November 2020, doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.hrthm.2020.06.028

[7] Liu B.R. & Cherry E.M, Image-based structural modeling of the cardiac Purkinje network, BioMed Research International, Vol 2015, Article ID 621034, http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/621034

[8] Corral-Acero J. et al., The ‘Digital Twin’ to enable the vision of precision cardiology, European Heart Journal (2020) 0, 1–11 doi:10.1093/eurheartj/ehaa159

[9] Strocchi M. et al., A publicly available virtual cohort of four-chamber heart meshes for cardiac electro-mechanics simulations. PLoS ONE 15(6): e0235145. (2020) https:// doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0235145

More Information


We offer a fixed term contract for 40 hours per week for a duration of 4 years. This will be supported by an educational plan that includes attending courses and (international) meetings. The contract will include opportunities to participate in the teaching and supervision of undergraduate and master's students.

The salary, depending on relevant experience before the beginning of the employment contract, will be up to PLN 8000 gross per month, based on a full-time contract (40 hours a week) for a duration of 4 years, plus private medical care and a sports card.

Sano offers excellent opportunities for study and development, access to many international conferences on computational medicine, and the possibility to grow in scientific society.

Selection process

Sano is an equal opportunities employer. We prioritize diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for everyone. We value a spirit of enquiry and perseverance, provide the space to keep asking questions, and promote a culture of curiosity and creativity.

Do you recognize yourself in the job profile? Then we look forward to receiving your application.

Applications in .pdf should include:

  • a cover letter;
  • a curriculum vitae.

During later stages of the application process, you will also be asked to provide:

  • copies of your degree certificates;
  • copies of your English language certificates;
  • two reference letters (to be submitted online by the referees).

Offer Requirements

    ENGLISH: Excellent


What do we require?

Required background and skills of the candidate:

  • Ideally a candidate should possess a 1st Class undergraduate Honours degree or a Master's degree (completed or near completion) in a relevant discipline, such as computational mathematics(preferred), physics, biophysics, biomedical physics, or biomedical engineering with a strong mathematics background;
  • Theory and practice of numerical methods, excellent programming skills (Python, C and similar);
  • Interest in pursuing cutting edge computational biophysics research;
  • Fluency in English.

Work location(s)
1 position(s) available at
Sano Centre for Computational Personalized Medicine
Czarnowiejska 36

Open, Transparent, Merit based Recruitment procedures of Researchers (OTM-R)

Know more about it at Sano Centre for Computational Personalized Medicine

Know more about OTM-R

EURAXESS offer ID: 709224


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