PhD student – 7T fMRI

PhD student – 7T fMRI

Website Department of Neurology and Center for Translational Neuro- and Behavioral Sciences (C-TNBS), Essen University Hospital, University of Duisburg-Essen

Three year PhD position (75% TVL-13). Research project funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG).

It is well established that the cerebellum contributes to cognitive, behavioral, emotional and social functions. Dysfunction of the cerebellum is also likely to play a role in a variety of mental disorders such as addiction and chronic pain. This PhD project aims to provide initial answers as to how exactly the cerebellum supports non-motor functions and how cerebellar dysfunction might contribute to common mental disorders. The primary aim of the project is to show that the cerebellum contributes to reinforcement learning in humans via its connection to the ventral tegmental area (VTA). The VTA plays a central role in addiction, but is also involved in avoidance behavior in chronic pain. The focus of your work is on functional MRI examinations on a 7T MRI scanner in healthy participants. The 7T fMRI study will carried out at the Erwin L. Hahn Institute for Magnetic Resonance Imaging (ELH). If the 7T fMRI study in healthy participants is successful, initial behavioral studies will be conducted in patients with non-substance related addictive behaviors (i.e. behavioral addictions) and chronic back pain. The DFG project is a collaboration between Prof. Dr. Dagmar Timmann (Experimental Neurology, University Medicine Essen (UME)), Prof. Dr. Ulrike Bingel (Clinical Neurosciences, UME) and Prof. Dr. Matthias Brand (Center for Behavioral Addiction Research (CeBAR) at the UME), all three of whom are Principal Investigators at the ELH. Admission to the interdisciplinary graduate program BIOME at the UME is possible and strongly encouraged.

Your profile:
• Diploma or Master’s degree in a natural science (e.g. physics, computer sciene or similar) or in neuroscience
• Very good programming and computer skills (Matlab, Phyton or similar)
• Good statistical knowledge and experience in the evaluation of structural and functional
cranial MRI examinations are a plus

Contact person and further information about the position:
Prof. Dagmar Timmann, +49 201 723 2180,

To apply for this job please visit