[visionlist] 2 PhD positions in the European Training Network project ENTRAIN-VISION in Prague

Jan Antolik antolikjan at gmail.com
Tue Mar 3 16:02:39 -04 2020

2 PhD positions are available in the European Training Network project
ENTRAIN-VISION <http://www.entrain-vision.eu/> in Prague, within the Marie
Sklodowska-Curie ETN - Early Stage Researcher (PhD) program.

Blindness is the most feared handicap leading to the greatest exclusion
from society by reducing patient autonomy and mobility. Clinical trials
have demonstrated the possibility to regain some useful vision with retinal
prostheses in patients having lost photoreceptors. New approaches are
entering into clinical trials such as photovoltaic implants, optogenetic
therapy and even cortical prostheses for patients having lost eye to brain
connection. In the ENTRAIN-VISION <http://www.entrain-vision.eu/> project,
the Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) will work on these innovative
technologies for restoring vision in blind patients. Their training in
academic institutes or industry will be completed by several secondments,
including at least one at an industry partner. In addition, several summer
schools will address scientific subjects on vision restoration and
transferable skills in technology transfer, clinical trials, start-up
creation, and communication to the media.

At the Computational Systems Neuroscience Group (CSNG <http://antolik.net/>)
at Charles University in Prague, we will address the problem of how to
encode visual stimulus, such that the stimulation of the targeted
visual processing stage (retina, thalamus or cortex) leads to perception of
the given stimulus by the implanted subject. We will address this question
via computational means, relying on both large-scale recurrent spiking
neural network models of early visual system
as well as novel
neural network
learning techniques. This way, we will inform the future design of the
visual prosthetic devices and contribute to the information processing
software that will run on the implanted hardware.

What we offer:

   - Obtain a PhD from Charles University <https://cuni.cz/uken-1.html> in
   - Internships at technological innovators Innovatric
   <http://innovatrics.com/> and GoodAI <https://goodai.com/>, and 3 month
   secondment at another ENTRAIN-VISION <http://www.entrain-vision.eu/> partner
   (see attachments for full list).
   - Work in close collaboration with the leading vision restoration lab of
   Dr. Serge Picaud
   the Institute de la Vision <http://www.institut-vision.org/>, Paris.
   - A full-time 3-year paid contract, starting September 2020.

Main tasks and responsibilities:

   - Building and testing large-scale recurrent spiking neural network
   models of early visual system.
   - Extending these simulations with model of the prosthetic system, and
   calibrating the resulting simulation stack against physiological data
   provided by the project partners.
   - Developing encoding schemes for visual stimuli that will provide both
   accurate and efficient stimulation of the neural visual substrate.
   - Evaluating candidate encoding schemes in the simulation environment.
   - Finding efficient implementations of the selected encoding schemes in
   the low-powered prosthetic hardware.

Skills and qualifications:

   - Bachelor (BSc) and Master (MSc) in
   Physics/Mathematics/Engineer/Neuroscience/Computer Science or related fields
   - Programming skills: Python.
   - Willing to learn new skills and work in teams
   - High level of English proficiency
   - Prior experience in neural modelling a plus

For further information on all project partners, *how to apply* and
*deadlines* please see attached documents.

Ján Antolík <http://antolik.net/>, PhD
Associate Researcher
Computational Systems Neuroscience Group
Faculty of Mathematics and Physics
Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic
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