Medical Physics and image processing PhD position available - Marseille

CIFRE PhD in collaboration with Institut Paoli Calmette, Institut Fresnel, CRMBM and Viewray industry

Where : Institut Paoli Calmette, Marseille, France

How : CIFRE contract with Viewray industry

When : Autumn 2018

Topic : Generated synthetic Computed Tomography (sCT) from Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) only for radiation therapy treatment planning (RTP).

MRI diagnostic offers better contrast for soft-tissues as compared with CT. Thus, MRI is becoming increasingly the imaging technology chosen for radiotherapy treatment to delineate target volume. However, MRI is usually enhanced with fusion from a second CT exam to improve accuracy.

A new generation of scanners combining MRI and linear accelerator, MR-LINAC, offers a direct access to MRI both for treatment planning or re-planning and in situ daily patient positioning (i.e. adaptive treatment).

Given there are no relationships between MR contrast and electron density used for treatment plan calculation there is still a need of CT images.

CT/MR co-registration also introduces systematic error for target volume delineation and patient positioning depending on image fusion technique and distortion/deformation MR images.

Recent research techniques have proposed dose distribution calculation method for treatment planning based exclusively on MRI to avoid those systematic errors. This corresponds to the generation of synthetic CT images that can provide estimated electronic density information to plan external radiotherapy treatment.

3 different types of synthetic CT methods can be highlighted:

- Bulk density override techniques

- Deformable atlas based techniques

- Voxel-based techniques involving advanced imaging processing.


The PhD student will tasked with:

· The optimization of MRI acquisition techniques for the new generation of MR-LINAC scanners.

· The implementation and optimization of a carefully chosen method for synthetic electronic density information

The evaluation of the pipeline for external radiotherapy treatment on the first MR-LINAC in France


To conclude, MRI images are more and more used for tumor and organ at risk volume delineation for radiotherapy treatment plans.

Atlas-based and voxel-based techniques to generate sCT are acceptable but there is no real consensus and no trade solutions are available.

ViewRay MRIdian® MR-LINAC image guided radiation therapy system is coming soon at Institut Paoli Calmettes. Generated sCT is a relevant approach for treatment planning and daily adaptive optimization.

Our partnership with CRMBM and FRESNEL INSTITUTE also located in Marseille is a real opportunity to lead such project.

PhD candidate profile :

Master or engineering degree in signal and image processing or applied mathematics

Software Programming skills in C, C++, Python

Basic physics knowledge is required and specific medical physics knowledge is highly appreciated.

Communication skill to work with physicians, computer sciences and signal and image searchers.

Professional communication can be exclusively performed in English. However, minimal French language skills are recommended, and French classes can be offered to help the student improve more rapidly.

Please send : CV, motivation letter, transcript of master’s courses, 2 referents (name, address, Email, lab).


Contacts :

Pierre Fau, Institut Paoli Calmette ,

Mouloud Adel, Institut Fresnel,

Stanislas Rapacchi, CRMBM,