PhD student LungAnalysis

Updated: 3 months ago
Job Type: Temporary
Deadline: 27 Sep 2022

Structural lungs damage is the most important consequence of Cystic Fibrosis (CF) lung disease and the major determinant of life expectancy, lung exacerbations and quality of life. Recently a highly effective CFTR modulator therapy was developed for CF and it has shown remarkable efficacy in Randomized Clinical Trials. Given the enormous costs of the medication, it remains essential to test the effectiveness and side effects of these drugs. The European CF Society Patient Registry (ECFSPR) is an ideal dataset to investigate this. The registry collects annual data of over 50,000 people living with CF (PwCF) in Europe. Although most European CF-centers routinely assess progression of structural lung disease by chest CT scans, CT outcome measures are not included to date in national and European patient registries. The aim of the ENRICH project is to create an infrastructure to collect and score up to 10,000 chest CT scans from European CF patients and incorporate the results in the ECFSPR. The resulting real-world evidence dataset will be used to perform important epidemiological analyses on the progression of structural lung disease before and after CFTR modulator therapy introduction.

The project is a collaboration between the Erasmus MC - Sophia Children's Hospital department of Pediatric Pulmonology, the LungAnalysis Laboratory, the ECFS Patient Registry, Thirona (https://thirona.eu/ ), and the ECFS clinical trial network. Over 15 European (paediatrics and adult) clinical CF centres have expressed their support and cooperation. The project is funded by the American Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

The PhD student will be embedded within the LungAnalysis research group. LungAnalysis (LA) was founded in 2013 and is an Erasmus University Medical Centre (Erasmus MC) image analysis research core laboratory focused on the analysis of lung images. LA is a structured collaboration between the departments of Pediatric Pulmonology, Radiology & Nuclear Medicine, and the Bio Imaging Group Rotterdam (BIGR). LA collaborates with research groups all over the world and has a well-established reputation as one of the few academical operating image analysis laboratories. LA has co-developed and validated advanced image analysis methods specifically designed for chest CT scans, A wide array of image derived biomarkers for different lung diseases have been developed and validated against established clinical outcome measures related to how a patient 'feels, functions, survive'. LA has developed with Thirona fully automated software (LungQ) that is able to generate CT outcome measures relevant for CF lung disease.

The PhD student will be the first contact for all participating clinical CF centres and assist in the local ethics approvals and CT data transfer to LungAnalysis. The PhD student will supervise the image analysis using lungQ in the LA laboratory, execute quality checks on the LungQ output, perform data analysis with support of the Erasmus MC and ECFS-PR statisticians, and will write peer-reviewed international publications that will result in a PhD thesis. During her/his PhD, the student will take part in relevant individual courses, or in a full MSc program, in Epidemiology at the Netherlands Institute for Health Sciences. The PhD student will be supervised by Dr. Daan Caudri, principal investigator of the ENRICH study and Director of the LungAnalysis lab, and Prof.dr. Harm Tiddens, founder and vice Director of the LungAnalysis lab.


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