ESBiomech24 Congress in Edinburgh

PhD in computational spine biomechanics and ASD patient stratification @ DTIC-UPF, Barcelona, Spain

Host institution and work environment

The Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF) was established in 1990 in Barcelona as a public university with a strong dedication to excellence in research and teaching. It is the 1st Spanish university in teaching and research performance (U-Ranking, BBVA Foundation & Ivie, 2016), in terms of quality output, normalized impact and percentage of collaborative papers with international institutions (Scimago 2014).

DTIC is the UPF ICT department. It was created in 2009 and has an important track record of active participation in international projects (66 FP7 and 20 H2020 projects up to now). DTIC is the Spanish university department with the largest number of ERC grants (19 from FP7 on), and it has been awarded the “Maria de Maeztu” excellence award by the Spanish government for the quality and relevance of its pioneering scientific research.

The proposed PhD will take place at DTIC as a collaborative project between the Biomechanics and Mechanobiology and the Medical Imaging Analysis research areas of BCN MedTech. BCN MedTech ( is the Barcelona Centre for New Medical Technologies at UPF. Its focus is on biomedical integrative research, including mathematical and computational models, algorithms and systems for computer-aided diagnosis and treatment of health problems. It has a team of 60 full time researchers working on computational simulations, medical image analyses, signal processing, machine learning, computer-assisted surgery and biomedical electronics.


The project

The successful candidate will work on the modelling of adult spine deformity (ASD), focussing on patient-specific modelling techniques and intelligent analyses of biomechanical simulation outcomes in ASD patient cohorts. The project is a collaboration among UPF, the Instituto Ortopedico Galeazzi (Milan, Italy), the Hospital del Mar (Barcelona, Spain) and the Hospital de Vall d’Hebron (Barcelona, Spain). It will combine patient data with statistical shape modelling, finite element analyses and machine learning techniques to infer on the physical rationales that lay behind current clinical classifications of ASD patients.

The PhD thesis will be funded full time for a period of four years and will be co-supervised by Dr Jérôme Noailly and Prof Miguel Ángel González Ballester (UPF), and by Dr Fabio Galbusera (Instituto Ortopedico Galeazzi).


Requirements and application

Candidates are expected to have a Bachelor and Master in Physics, Applied mathematics, Biomedical engineering or in related fields. Proficient English is necessary. Applications should be sent by email to Dr Jérôme Noailly ( and to Dr Fabio Galbusera ( and should include a full CV, letter of motivation, Bachelor and Master academic transcripts and the contact of two referees.

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