Fully funded PhD Position: Pulmonary morphology in the deceased - forensic pulmonary imaging.

Fully funded PhD Position: Pulmonary morphology in the deceased - forensic pulmonary imaging.

Graduate School of Health, Aarhus University

Aarhus, Denmark

Fully funded PhD Position: Pulmonary morphology in the deceased – forensic pulmonary imaging.

The Graduate School of Health, Aarhus University is looking for a talented, ambitious and highly motivated candidate for the three-year fully financed PhD project.

Background and aim

Natural post mortem changes of the deceased human lung make evaluation of pulmonary pathologies during autopsies challenging. The aim of this PhD project is to determine the extent of natural pulmonary changes taking place after death, thereby allowing the development of improved techniques and methodologies to differentiate post mortem pulmonary changes from pathologies and traumatic changes during post mortem examinations. This would aid diagnosis of conditions relevant for forensic medicine (e.g. drowning and other asphyxia) as well as conditions with potential for clinical treatment (e.g. lung cancer and general lung diseases).

The lung is a vital organ with a highly intricate morphology, which is challenging to comprehend during conventional post mortem procedures. A multitude of pathologies and trauma may affect the function of the lung, leading to mild or severe dysfunction with potential for direct or indirect implication of causes leading to death. Different imaging techniques, including computed tomography (CT), and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can aid the post mortem examination of the lung by providing uncompromised visualisation of internal structures, including airways and vasculatures through angiography procedures, non-invasively. However, natural post mortem decay imposes several interpretation artefacts into the imaging data. These post mortem artefacts or changes have traditionally been qualitatively determined, requiring expert radiological training. To increase the understanding of post mortem pulmonary morphology, as well as the ability to discriminate between pathological, traumatic and innate post mortem changes, quantitative analytical methods will be developed and evaluated by comparison of in situ and “ex situ” whole-lung pulmonary imaging data with traditional autopsy findings. Biopsy samples will further be prepared for micro-CT and histological evaluation of characteristic tissue-changes in tissues of the interstitium, vascular, and alveolar compartments of the lung.

The project will be performed at the Department of Forensic Medicine, Aarhus University in close collaboration with Institute of Forensic Medicine, Center of Forensic Imaging and Virtopsy, University of Zürich, Switzerland, where a substantial part of the study is conducted.

Main supervisor:
Professor Lene Warner Thorup Boel (lwb@forens.au.dk)

Requirements and project-specific qualifications

To be considered for a PhD position, you must meet our requirements for enrolment:

  • You must have a relevant higher education degree. Your educational level will be assessed to determine whether it comply with entry requirements. If you hold a degree other than a Danish Master’s degree, it can be advisable to get your degree assessed by the Danish Agency for Science and Higher Education before you apply.
  • You must master the English language corresponding to CEFR C1-level (comparable with an ‘English B level’ in the Danish upper secondary school (‘gymnasium’). We require a test result.

Also, you must fulfill the project-specific qualifications:

  • Solid knowledge of pulmonary anatomy and physiology
  • Familiar with different relevant bio-imaging techniques and modalities and quantitative analytical methods (candidates with experience/interest in machine learning algorithms will be prioritized)

If you do not meet the above requirements, we reserve the right to reject your application.

What we offer

We offer a competitively salaried 3-year PhD training programme covering a wide spectrum of research opportunities with access to state-of-the-art research facilities and advanced infrastructure. Professional and highly qualified researchers and lecturers will surround you in an exciting, international research environment. Also, we are committed to career development, and offer you an extensive course programme as well as access to career counselling. Get more details on which elements our PhD training programme include.

Aarhus University is a young, modern university. It is a leading public research university with global reach, covering the entire research spectrum, and is ranked in the top-100 by several influential rankings.

Conditions of employmenth3.

You will be employed as a PhD fellow in a 3-year salaried position (37 hrs per week) (FTE). Aarhus University offers attractive and flexible working conditions, and encourages a healthy balance between work and free time. The salary level is competitive and includes social benefits.

Our International Centre offers a full range of services for international PhD students, including help with practical matters, housing, social events, language courses and information sessions.

Learn more about working at Aarhus University.

Submit your application in English via our online application form.
Application deadline is 7 January 2019 at 23:59 (CEST). See application guide for details on how to apply.
Selected candidates will be invited for a (video) interview in week 9, 2019.
Earliest enrolment date is 1 April 2019 and up until six months after you receive the enrolment offer.

For further information about the graduate school or the application procedure, please contact
graduateschoolhealth@au.dk or visit our website www.phd.health.au.dk. For information about Aarhus University, please visit www.international.au.dk

Please apply via recruiter’s website.