The REtinal VAscular Modeling, Measurement And Diagnosis (REVAMMAD) project will train a new generation of scientists able to effectively translate the latest vascular modeling theory and computerized image analysis techniques into effective interventions for some of the most important chronic medic conditions afflicting the EU, including hypertension and diabetes. It will particularly ensure that there is rich clinical and industrial involvement to ensure that the training is focused with end-users and exploitation in mind. The vasculature undergoes changes in response to early stages of these diseases, reflecting fundamental physiological processes within the vessels. The retina provides a unique “window onto the vasculature”, allowing it to be viewed and measurements made in vivo, and advances in imaging technologies make it increasingly possible to measure subtle changes using computer vision algorithms, including through routine medical checks such as eye tests. The field is currently fragmented, with many excellent pockets of collaboration focused on defined specialisms, particularly between clinicians and modelers, or clinicians and measurement specialists, but lacking overall structure. Despite the importance and incidence of the diseases and the evidence for the possibility of better diagnosis through imaging, there has been relatively little translation of theory into clinical practice. Integrative action is required to train researchers who understand the medical, clinical, technological and commercial aspects of the problem domain and to establish common working methodologies and tools across the field. REVAMMAD will train early careers researchers who combine these skills in order to motivate the introduction of high impact interventions in the future.
REVAMMAD Early Stage Researchers will each be employed on a 36 month contract, and will be expected to enrol on a PhD at one of the partner institutions. Marie Curie Fellows receive an extremely generous rate of pay, including mobility support, and together with the associated training events and placements this provides a unique opportunity for outstanding PhD candidates to study for their doctorates. Applicants at FORTH may also enroll at the University of Crete.
The REVAMMAD project will train 13 young researchers, across 10 partner sites, in 6 European countries (France, UK, Denmark, Germany, Italy, and Greece). The positions have all been advertised on the European Commission Euraxess website in: http://ec.europa.eu/euraxess/index.cfm/jobs/jobDetails/33850901
The Institute of Computer Science of the Foundation for Research and Technology – Hellas (ICS-FORTH) will host the subproject Hypertension, which is related to the “Measurement of retinal microcirculation for the early diagnosis of hypertension and the assessment of its treatment”. At the time of recruitment by the beneficiary , the researcher must not have resided or carried out his/her main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the country of the beneficiary for more than 12 months in the 3 years prior to his/her recruitment under the project. Compulsory national service and/or short stays such as holidays are not taken into account. Early stage researcher means a researcher who at the time of recruitment by the beneficiary, has not yet been awarded the doctorate degree and is in the first 4 years (full time equivalent) of his/her research career.
The project aims to provide novel diagnostic tools for the assessment of microcirculation, based on retinal image analysis that models symptoms of hypertension on the retinal microvasculatory system. Its objectives are to:
- develop anatomically aware algorithms for automatic identification of retinal vessels for clinical parameters related to hypertension,
- develop reliable algorithms for automatic registration of retinal images acquired at different time periods (follow up examinations),
- compare dimensions and clinical parameters in healthy and hypertensive patients, in order to provide a predictive test for hypertension from retinal images, and
- develop software towards a user-platform that facilitates diagnostic procedure.
In this context the successful applicant will be involved in the development of software that extracts clinical parameters from vessels, and correlates them with hypertension and, also, registers retinal images in order to assess variations of these parameters along time.
Applicants must have:
- a MSc degree in computer science, computer engineering, or related field,
- good programming skills (including C/C++ and MATLAB),
- experience in computer vision, or image processing, or medical image processing and, preferably, in retinal image processing,
- english communication skills.
Contact person for ICS-FORTH:
Xenophon Zabulis, Principal Researcher
Institute of Computer Science
Foundation for Research and Technology - Hellas (FORTH)
N. Plastira 100, GR-700 13 Heraklion, Crete, Greece
Phone: +30 2810391696
Fax: +30 2810391601