PhD Opportunity — Mathematical Modeling of Brain Changes in Early Alzheimer's Disease

Applications are now open for a funded three-year PhD opportunity regarding mathematical modelling of brain changes in early Alzheimer’s disease within the ARC Training Centre in Cognitive Computing for Medical Technologies. For more information please contact

The primary goal of this project is to utilise machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) techniques in order to develop novel methods for understanding the nature and magnitude of changes in cognition and behaviour associated with those variations in brain structure and function that are hypothesized to be causal in Alzheimer’s disease. The focus will be on modelling the cognitive and behavioral trajectories preceding the diagnosis of dementia, as well as determining which measurable factors (demographic, genetic etc.) may influence such trajectories. Two important additional challenges will be to find the best way of dealing with missing data as well as to study the extent to which biases from repeated application of tests can be corrected mathematically. Finally, the project will seek to estimate potential benefits to brain-behavior models associated with high-frequency cognitive assessments.

As a result, quantitative hypotheses will be generated that can subsequently be validated in independent data sets or with specific experimental programs, predominantly in learning and memory, involving functional neuroimaging as well as further psychopharmacological and cognitive challenges.

The suitable candidate would have BSc in a discipline related to psychology, neuroscience or neuroimaging with a keen interest in computer science, statistics and the interface between modern machine learning and complex neurobiological models. You will be well supported by a team of mathematicians and computer scientists as well as clinical neuroscientific staff.  You will have access to data sets from the most current clinical pathological studies of Alzheimer’s disease.

This is a three year funded PhD program that occurs within the The ARC Training Centre in Cognitive Computing for Medical Technologies


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Paul Maruff