[visionlist] PhD research open position in optics of myopia in Murcia, Spain

Pablo Artal pablo at um.es
Fri Jul 14 12:51:07 -05 2017

Please forward to anyone that might be interested. Thanks!

Early Stage Researcher (PhD student) in optics of myopia

We invite applications for an Early Stage Researcher (PhD) position 
being part of the Marie Sk?odowska Curie European Training Network 
'Myopia: Fundamental Understanding Needed' (MyFUN). Topic of the 
project: We investigate the impact of the eye's optics in relation to 
myopia. The project is a three year PhD designing and developing an 
optical instruments to study ocular accommodation and how this relates 
with myopia. The successful candidate will learn about design and 
technology of medical instrumentation. He/She will also be involved in 
the acquisition of data collection, processing and presenting it. Part 
of the time is allocated for networking and the development of important 
skills. The candidate will integrate in dynamic University lab but also 
will interact closely with an international network of academic and 
industrial partners of the consortium. LOUM is a world-leader research 
lab in biomedical and visual optics directed by Prof. Artal.

  Project title

Optics of ocular accommodation and myopia

  Project description

A big question remains as to why myopia progression is only loosely 
correlated to near work. Not all epidemiological studies could 
demonstrate a link. The problem arises perhaps because it is still not 
known what exactly triggers myopia during reading. A classical theory is 
that accommodation is insufficient ("lag of accommodation") but the 
published studies could not convincingly demonstrate that a lag of 
accommodation precedes the onset of myopia, and the evidence that myopic 
subjects have larger lags of accommodation is mixed. A major problem is 
the technologies used to measure the lag of accommodation. First, the 
devices are typically optimized to measure the best approach to the 
spectacle refractions (but generating large offsets at near) and second 
only few studies have taken higher order aberrations into account even 
though they also determine the plane of best focus. Therefore, a 
dynamic, binocular aberrometer that can also track pupil size and 
vergence will be the only approach to finally determine how big the "lag 
of accommodation" is during binocular reading and whether it might be 
related to the defocus error signal driving accommodation. The device 
consists of a single Hartmann-Shack wavefront sensor conjugated with 
both eyes' pupil planes through twin periscopes for simultaneous 
measurements of the dynamics of accommodation, aberrations, pupil sizes 
and convergence (Chirre et al, Opt Lett 2014, 39). A dichroic mirror 
transmits the visible light allowing open-view to the subject while the 
infrared beams are reflected toward the sensor positioned in a lower 
plane. From the recorded images, both eyes` wave-aberrations, pupil size 
and relative convergence can be measured in real time (25 Hz).

  Candidate profile

·MSc or equivalent degree in physics, engineering or related discipline 
which allows to start a doctorate

or PhD thesis

·Has a desire to learn and innovate.

  * High level of written and verbal English is fundamental. Spanish is
    not a requirement.

  Eligibility criteria

The EU has strict eligibility criteria for Early Stage Researchers: 

·Must not have resided or carried out their main activity in the country 
of the host institution (Spain) for more than 12 months in the 3 years 
immediately prior to their recruitment.

·Should not possess a PhD

·Should have less than 4 years of research experience. This is measured 
from the date when they obtained the degree which formally entitles them 
to embark on a doctorate, either in the country in which the degree was 
obtained or in the country in which the research training is provided.

  Additional information on Murcia region

  Information on the research activities of the Artal's optics lab can
  be obtained through the web page: http://lo.um.es; and on Murcia
  (Murcia is the Region capital city located in the south-est of Spain,
  40 km from the Mediterranean Sea) from the University of Murcia web
  page: http://www.um.es/english/general-inf.php. The weather in Murcia
  is good year round and the area offers plenty of outdoor and cultural
  recreations opportunities.

  Envisioned starting date

October 2017

  Employment conditions

Type: Temporal contract (up to 3 years)

Compensation: Highly competitive salary, including allowances for 
mobility, and family as well as funds to participate in training 
activities of the MyFUN network and in (international) conferences.

*How to apply & Contact*

Interested candidates should submit the application electronically, 
including cover letter, CV, list of references, a summary of your MSc 
thesis and one motivation page stating your interest in the project to 
Prof. Pablo Artal (pablo at um.es), indicating in the subject the 
reference: MyFun PhD position before the end of August 2017.

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