20 enero 2021
20 enero 2021,

Project Title/ Job Position title: Renal Magnetic Resonance Imaging standardization to improve personalized management of Chronic Kidney Disease patients / Doctoral student.

Expected starting date: June 2021

Research project/ Research Group description

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) affects over 10% of the word’s population. The prevalence of CKD is increasing and thus the economic cost of treating these patients is raising, representing a global health burden. With current therapies disease progression cannot be stopped, and the search for new therapies has not been successful, with a high number of failed clinical trials in the last decade. This highlights the need for better methods for earlier diagnosis, improved patient stratification, targeted treatment and monitoring.

Renal multiparametric Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a promising non-invasive technique that can be employed to assess several biomarkers, directly related to renal physiology and pathophysiology. However, the use of renal MRI in clinical trials and clinical practice has been hampered by current methodological differences across centers and the lack of standardized acquisition protocol and analysis methods. In addition, normative values are not available and clinical data supporting the validity and utility of the renal MRI biomarkers is needed.

This project aims at developing and implementing standardize renal MRI protocols, and evaluating these protocols in healthy volunteers and CKD patients, to obtain normal ranges for the MRI parameters, measure their reproducibility and assess their clinical validity. The project is part of a recently funded European grant that involves research partners in five different European countries. The PhD candidate will work in the Biomedical Imaging Laboratory at the Clínica Universidad de Navarra (located in Pamplona, Spain).

The laboratory is composed of a group of biomedical engineers collaborating closely with radiologists and clinicians from several departments, including neurology, psychiatry, and nephrology, working on translational research projects, developing advanced MRI techniques and evaluating their use for disease diagnosis and characterization.


Job position description The PhD candidate will participate on the implementation and harmonization of renal MRI protocols and will be involved in data acquisition and analysis. A technical degree (Physics, Engineering or similar) would be desirable. The candidate will be trained on MRI physics and will learn how to program the MRI scanner within the scanner vendor platform. He will learn image processing and data analysis techniques needed for the project.

The student will enroll in the “Applied Medicine and Biomedicine” PhD program at the University of Navarra, an interdisciplinary program that comprises 7 main research lines, including a line in “Advanced therapies and diagnostic innovation”, that covers the proposed project.

Short stays at the other European project partners laboratories will be possible during the PhD. The student will be expected to present the work related to the project at national and international conferences.


Group Leader:

  • Title: Dr.
  • Full name: Maria A. Fernández Seara
  • Email: mfseara@unav.es
  • Research project/ Research Group website (Url): https://www.cun.es/nuestrosprofesionales/servicios-medicos/radiologia/biomedical-imaging-laboratory
  • Website description: the website provides information about the Biomedical Imaging Laboratory (projects and personnel), that will host the PhD student.
  • Ciudad : Pamplona
  • Organización : Clínica Universidad de Navarra