Academic Positions Sverige

CNRS National Center for Scientific Research, Frankrike

Post-doctoral position - Could an altered biomechanical landscape be a common underling process in dementia and neurodegeneration?

Keywords: Porous Media, Poromechanics, Biomechanics, Brain, Cerebro Spinal Fluid, Blood microcirculation, Modelling

Academic context: This Post-doc position is part of the interdisciplinary project FluidBrain about the role of biomechanics in the context of brain aging, neurodegenerative diseases and dependence. This project involves the Toulouse Neuroimaging Center ( and the Porous Media Group of IMFT ( This consortium is already recognized as an international leader on the multi-scale modeling of human brain microcirculation (

Scientific context: Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and vascular dementia (VaD) are the two most common forms of dementia. Normal pressure hydrocephalus (NPH) is a less frequent but partially treatable disease, related to a prominent alteration of the Cerebro Spinal Fluid (CSF) dynamics. Although AD, VaD and NPH are distinct clinical entities, there is a considerable overlap in their risk factors and symptoms, suggesting that common underlying disease processes are involved. In particular, these diseases sahre in various proportions, simultaneous alterations of the CSF dynamics, microvascular blood flows, as well as changes in the mechanical properties of the brain tissue. Our current hypothesis is that characterization of altered biomechanical brain’slandscape is needed to better understand if and how this landscape contributes to the development of neurodegenerative diseases.

Project summary: For that purpose, our aim is to develop quantitative and predictive multi-scale models of the poromechanical interactions between brain tissue, CSF and blood microvascular dynamics [1,2]. The development and validation of these models will be based on a unique database gathered by ToNIC, which documents the effects of controlled mechanical perturbations of the patients’ system. Such perturbations are induced by injecting fluid into the cerebrospinal compartment, similar to [3]. The CSF pressure disturbances at the injection site, the resulting deformation of brain tissue and changes in boundary condition for microvascular blood flow are simultaneously recorded using advanced clinical imaging modalities (including anatomical and flow MRI).

Profile: Strong background in poro-elasticity. Experience in numerical methods for coupled poro-elastic problems is welcomed. Demonstrated motivation for work at the interface between disciplines, in a collaborative environment. A PhD in Fluid or Solid Mechanics, Applied Mathematics or related disciplines is required, as well as fluency in English and willingness to learn French.

Academic supervisors: Eric Schmidt, neurosurgeon at CHU-Purpan/INSERM ToNIC, in collaboration with Pascal Swider, Professor, Solid Mechanics (IMFT) and Sylvie Lorthois, Directeur de Recherche CNRS, Fluid Mechanics (IMFT).

Administrative aspects: The post-doc position is funded for 1 years, starting January 2017 (Gross salary, depending on experience : ~ 30 to 40 000 €/year; Net salary, including social security: ~ 24 to 34 000 €/year). The employer is the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research (, the only French public research institute to focus entirely on human health.

For more information or to apply, please submit via email your curriculum vitae, copies of recent transcripts, a cover letter describing previous research experience and interests, and contact information of two references, with "FluidBrain PDRA" in the subject line, to: Eric Schmidt ( & Sylvie Lorthois (

References: [1] Swider et al, J Biomech 2010. [2] Lorthois et al. Neuroimage 2011 [3] Schmidt et al. Cerebrovasc Dis Extra 2012

CNRS National Center for Scientific Research

The Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (National Center for Scientific Research) is a public organization under the responsibility of the French Ministry of Education and Research.


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