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DOC.FUNDS promotes doctoral studies in brain research

Seven doctoral positions to be created as part of the cooperation between MedUni Vienna and FH Carinthia
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Copyright (c) 2016 Tiko Aramyan/Shutterstock

(Klagenfurt, Vienna, 22-03-2023) Carinthia University of Applied Sciences and the Medical University of Vienna have launched a cooperation project to address the sustainable interlinking of basic university research and applied brain research. The research work is supported by the Austrian Science Fund FWF. Seven doctoral positions will be publicised for this purpose with research starting in the winter semester 2023/24.

As part of the collaboration between Carinthia University of Applied Sciences and the Medical University of Vienna, seven doctoral positions are being established to develop new methods in ultra-high field magnetic resonance imaging, histology and artificial intelligence. The research aims to make advances in the treatment of brain tumours and demyelinating diseases such as multiple sclerosis.

New research platform bundles scientific know-how
In order to bundle scientific knowledge, an innovative research platform is being set up by the Carinthian University of Applied Sciences under the responsibility of Günther Grabner, head of the Master's programme in Medical Engineering and Analytics. It will combine scientific expertise and equipment at the cutting edge of technology from three departments at the Medical University of Vienna - the University Hospitals for Radiology and Nuclear Medicine, for Neurology and for Neurosurgery – as well as the Carinthian University of Applied Sciences in the study area of Engineering & IT, Medical Engineering and Analytics.

"We are very pleased about the cooperation with the Medical University of Vienna and the opportunity to establish this research platform," says Günther Grabner. "Seven doctoral students will work on the development of new methods in the field of clinical imaging, image processing and visualisation," says the Master's programme director of Medical Engineering and Analytics at Carinthia University of Applied Sciences.
"The project focuses on the development of advanced neuro-MR imaging methods, identification of clinical biomarkers for neurological diseases and the establishment of new computer-based analysis and visualisation methods," explains Michaela Fritz, Vice Rector for Research and Innovation at the Medical University of Vienna.

FWF President Christof Gattringer: "Training young researchers is a particularly important task for Austria as a research location - be it a university or a university of applied sciences. With the doc.funds.connect programme, FWF specifically supports cooperative doctoral studies between universities and universities of applied sciences in order to leverage further synergies. The field of brain research still holds many questions that need to be answered. I wish the doctoral programme much success and am pleased that there will be further expansion of research competences."
Artificial intelligence supports computer-aided analysis and visualisation methods

The goal of this cooperative doctoral programme is, among other things, to establish new clinically relevant biomarkers in neurological diseases by developing innovative MR imaging methods. These technologies are to be used in the future as analysis and visualisation tools with high clinical impact. The collaboration between Carinthia University of Applied Sciences and the Medical University of Vienna should also lead to the training of the next generation of scientists, developers and physicians who can jointly use these technologies in clinical routine. An example of this would be the optimisation of neurosurgical planning for a better determination of the type of tumour and its environment and the simulation of the intervention with the help of virtual reality.

In order to meet the highest international standards as well as increase the attraction for applicants, the doctoral programme includes at least one stay abroad with international research partners per doctoral candidate. Seven internationally renowned cooperation partners from academia (e.g. Harvard and MIT) and industry (e.g. ICOMETRIX) have agreed to host our candidates.

In addition to the positive effects for all actors involved in this project, this interdisciplinary and cooperative doctoral programme will also significantly increase the share of medical research in Carinthia, as the latest findings from Austria's largest medical research institution will flow into the training.