The Cardiac Modeling Group belongs to the Electronics Engineering Department of the Polytechnical University of Valencia (UPV), Spain. The group is integrated by 5 faculty members and a variable number of post-doctoral and PhD students. We seek a highly motivated PhD candidate to develop mathematical models of the electrical activity of the heart at 3D level to enable the in silico testing of mechanistic hypotheses and improve the identification and evaluation of therapeutic targets for the treatment of myocardial infarction (MI), and heart failure (HF). The candidate will be contracted for three years and working in the frame of a national funded research project. The candidate will be fully integrated in the group as an active member.
The group has an ample experience in modeling and simulating the electrical activity of the heart. Throughout our cardiac simulation work, we have developed and analyzed cardiac action potential (AP) models of different tissues (atrium, ventricle, and Purkinje) and different animal species (dog, rabbit, guinea pig, and human) under normal and under several pathological conditions, such as ischemia, heart failure, atrial fibrillation, and mutations. The group also has a valuable experience in modeling the effects of drugs on different ionic channels. Moreover, we have developed computational tools for the simulation of the electrophysiological activity of a variety of tissue structures (unicellular, one-dimensional, bi-dimensional and tri-dimensional).
The candidate will develop 3D atrial and whole heart personalized models to simulate arrhythmias and optimize therapies. Methods of mathematical modeling will be used to achieve the objectives. The candidate will receive data from our collaborators from the clinical field to build realistic and personalized models.
1. Build Personalized Multi-scale disease models. The candidate will personalize cardiac models to specific patients that will undergo interventions (e.g. cardiac ablation). Ventricular threedimensional models will be developed from MRI and CT images, and ECG signals and endocardial and epicardial cartographic electrical mapping in some cases. The clinical data will be provided by the hospitals involved in our research projects. The 3D models developed will be suitable to simulate the electrical activity of the heart. In collaboration with the Barcelona Supercomputing Center, the cardiac electrical activity of the heart will be coupled to the its mechanical behavior, so that electromechanical models will be built.
2. Analysis of arrhythmia mechanisms. Using the personalized models developed, different disease scenarios will be simulated to understand the main factors that influence the onset and maintenance of arrhythmias.
3. Optimization of therapeutic strategies in patients with MI and HF. Different ablation procedures will be simulated to study the relationship between the different factors that influence ventricular arrhythmias and the efficacy of ablation to stop the arrhythmic pattern. Simulation approaches will be used to optimize cardiac resynchronization therapy in the setting of HF personalized models.
Initial date: April 2021
Duration: 3 years at full and exclusive dedication.
• Master Degree in Biomedical Engineering, Applied Mathematics, Physics, other Engineering degrees or related discipline with strong numerical components focusing on mathematical modeling, simulation, and image processing.
• Training and/or experience in mechanistic modeling of electrophysiological systems is preferred.
• Understanding of ordinary and partial differential equations and how these can be applied in the development of complex models of electrophysiological models.
• In-depth, hands-on knowledge of modeling and simulation software (MATLAB, C/C++, Fortran).
• Keen interest in learning new computational skills.
• Self-directed with ability to work independently.
• Excellent communication and writing skills in English.
• Keen interest in living in the sunny Valencia.
If interested, please contact
Javier Saiz, firstname.lastname@example.org
Deadline: 2 March 2021