Fully Funded PhD Scholarship in HEART-SAVE Project


   School of Medicine

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  Dr Ana González-Suárez  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Application(s) are invited from suitably qualified candidates for full-time funded PhD scholarship(s) starting in November, 2023 affiliated to the Translational Medical Device Lab, Lambe Institute for Translational Research, School of Medicine at the University of Galway.

University of Galway

Located in the vibrant cultural city of Galway in the west of Ireland, the University of Galway has a distinguished reputation for teaching and research excellence.

For information on moving to Ireland please see www.euraxess.ie

Detailed Project Description

Recognising an ageing European population, an epidemic of atrial fibrillation (AF) is predicted in the next decade, with almost 18M citizens affected in 2030. The current impact on public health is substantial, with more than 1M hospital admissions accruing to €40B in healthcare costs annually. Left untreated, AF substantially increases the risk of stroke (70% of these patients will die), congestive heart failure, dementia and death. Current ablation treatments are based on destroying tissue-causing arrhythmias by heating, but neglect their origin site – neuronal cells on the epicardium known as ganglionated plexi, GP. Furthermore, these thermal-based treatments have significant associated risks due to tissue overheating, which can lead to symptomatic stroke, transient ischemic attacks and microemboli. The PhD project is focused on developing a novel and noninvasive disruptive technology capable of locating and non-thermally ablating the origin site of AF by using pulsed electric fields. The PhD research will include the characterization of dielectric and thermal properties of tissues involved (epicardial fat, GP and myocardium) by conducted measurements on animal tissue samples, the development of complex numerical models to explore new impedance-based methodologies to localise GP-sites, the design and fabrication of a prototype catheter capable of ablating and tracking GPs during ablation, as well as animal models to validate and optimise the prototype. 

Academic Entry Requirements: Applicants should ideally possess a Master’s degree or a BSc (Hons) or BE with relevant experience in Biomedical/Electronic/Computer Engineering or a closely related discipline with a background in computational modelling and in RF/ electromagnetics. Additional requirements will include:

  • Knowledge of computational modelling using FEA software (COMSOL, ANSYS, or similar), MATLAB and/or Python.
  • Familiarity with test and measurement equipment such as vector network analysers, amplifiers, signal generators, and impedance analysers
  • Knowledge of bioinstrumentation
  • Problem-solving, critical thinking and troubleshooting skills.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills

To Apply for the Scholarship: The PhD position is supported by Science Foundation Ireland under Grant number [22/PATH/10719]

Contact Name: Dr. Ana González-Suárez

Contact Email: [Email Address Removed]

Application Deadline: [date 30/12/2023 ] and time [17:00] (Irish time 24hr format)

Biological Sciences (4) Medicine (26)

Funding Notes

Living allowance (Stipend): €19,000 per annum, [tax-exempt scholarship award]
University fees: €5,500