Postdoctoral Fellows: Clinical Research on Neuromodulation for Parkinson’s Disease and Epilepsy

Employer
Biomedical Engineering (Lerner Research Institute) and Neurological Institute, Cleveland Clinic
Location
Cleveland, Ohio
Salary
Based on NIH guidelines
Closing date
Jan 3, 2022
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Highly motivated individuals with a PhD or MD/PhD in a relevant area are encouraged to apply. This training position, under the direct supervision of a Cleveland Clinic Principal Investigator, will provide practical training and experience in a research setting. This position is appointed through the Lerner Research Institute. The successful applicant will be able to demonstrate a commitment to research, a collaborative work ethic, and strong communication skills, both written and verbal. This program is expected to be completed within 5 years.

The Neural Dynamics and Modulation Laboratory seeks two postdoctoral research fellows to study neural circuit dynamics linked to Parkinson’s disease and epilepsy, and closed-loop brain stimulation approaches to control these dynamics in real-time.

Principal Investigator: David Escobar, Ph.D.

Lerner Research Institute Department: Biomedical Engineering

Lab Research Topics: The Neural Dynamics and Modulation Laboratory is a collaborative, multidisciplinary laboratory dedicated to advancing neuromodulation therapies for Parkinson's disease and epilepsy, translating research into patient care, and training researchers and students in engineering and science. We integrate neurophysiology, feedback control engineering, signal processing, data science, and data-driven mathematical modeling to develop precise, patient-specific neuromodulation therapies. The laboratory is part of the Department of Biomedical Engineering (Lerner Research Institute) and Neurological Institute at the Cleveland Clinic. Cleveland Clinic is a leader in clinical and hospital care, research, education, and health information. Newsweek ranked Cleveland Clinic as the No. 2 best hospital in the world in 2021. The focused research areas of our laboratory include

  • Deep brain stimulation (DBS)
  • Neural control engineering
  • Pathophysiology of Parkinson’s disease
  • Circuit dysfunction in epilepsy
  • Signal processing and data science
  • Data-driven mathematical modeling of brain circuits
  • For more information about the lab’s research, please visit: https://www.ndml.org

Job Responsibilities: The research conducted by the postdoctoral fellow focused on Parkinson’s disease will involve:

  • Collecting human electrophysiological and behavioral data in the operating room and postoperatively in the clinic.
  • Characterizing directed connectivity patterns and circuit dynamics associated with motor dysfunction in patients with Parkinson’s disease.
  • Studying the degree by which controlled changes in neural oscillatory activity and connectivity in the basal ganglia thalamo-cortical circuit alter motor function in patients with Parkinson’s disease.
  • Developing data analysis tools and analyzing electrophysiological, behavioral, and imaging data.
  • Writing peer-reviewed publications and participating in the preparation of grants.

The research conducted by the postdoctoral fellow focused on epilepsy will involve:

  • Collecting human electrophysiological and behavioral data in the epilepsy monitoring unit.
  • Implementing and assessing seizure onset zone localization methodology based on electrophysiological and imaging data.
  • Characterizing directed connectivity patterns and circuit dynamics associated with seizure onset in patients with mesial temporal lobe epilepsy.
  • Developing circuit models that describe the effect of electrical stimulation on neural circuits.
  • Conceiving feedback control strategies to modulate neural circuit dynamics associated with seizure onset.
  • Writing peer-reviewed publications and participating in the preparation of grants.

Education:

  • Ph.D. or M.D./Ph.D. degree in engineering, neuroscience, or related field. 
  • Background in signal processing, dynamical systems, and feedback control.
  • Extensive programming experience with MATLAB and Simulink.
  • Expertise in animal or human electrophysiology (EEG, ECoG, EMG, single units) and neurophysiology.
  • Excellent communication skills.
  • Ability to collaborate with a multidisciplinary team of researchers and interact with patients.

Additional Preferred Qualities:

  • Understanding of real-time systems and system identification techniques.

Work Experience:

  • Previous experience in a research or academic setting.  Graduate student experience meets this requirement.
  • Scientific writing experience

Preferred Application Materials:

  • CV
  • Research statement. The research statement should describe: 1) why you want to join our laboratory, 2) how you will contribute to our research, 3) your future career goals, and 4) how this postdoctoral position will help you achieve these goals.
  • Three references

Additional Information: These positions are suitable for those interested in advancing a research career in neuroengineering and neuromodulation in either academia or industry. The postdoctoral fellows will have the opportunity to:

  • Receive training in neuroengineering, feedback (closed-loop) control engineering, data-driven mathematical modeling, data science, human electrophysiology, and neurophysiology.
  • Learn about and help advance the development of new approaches to modulate neural activity in real-time in humans.
  • Access cutting edge clinical research facilities.
  • Participate in interdisciplinary research together with neurologists, neurosurgeons, radiologists, neuroscientists, and engineers.
  • Master your writing skills by participating in the preparation of grant proposals.

Contact: If you are interested in any of the positions and want to learn about the application process, please contact David Escobar at davidescobars@gmail.com.

Keywords: Postdoc, research, LRI, deep brain stimulation, Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy, neurophysiology, electrophysiology, feedback control, data science, neural control engineering.

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