The German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) is a world-leading internationally oriented research center, committed to discovering new approaches to prevent and treat neurodegenerative diseases. To this end, researchers at ten DZNE sites across Germany pursue a translational and interdisciplinary strategy comprising five interconnected areas: fundamental research, clinical research, health care research, population health science, and systems medicine.

Scientist position (m/f/x) for joint tomographic image reconstruction from collocated MRI data sets for accurate brain myelin mapping

Code: 1942/2021/4

Working time: 100% (39 hours per week), limited to 2 years

The German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) and the Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research (UFZ) together offer a postdoc position in a joint project on brain myelin imaging. This is one of the first projects within the new Helmholtz Imaging Platform (HIP, HIP projects combine complementary imaging expertise from different research fields in the Helmholtz Association, enabling cross-disciplinary cutting edge science.

Project Description:

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a routine tool in clinical diagnostics. In the past MRI was mainly used for subjective image reading by experienced radiologists, but the technology bears potential for quantitative biophysical tissue parameter mapping. Sensitizing the acquisition to the process of interest enables parameter estimation by subsequent model fitting of the MRI data. An important example is the estimation of myelin content. Exact brain myelin content mapping is a promising biomarker and of great diagnostic value, since the demyelination of the brain in many neurological diseases, e.g. multiple sclerosis, starts at an early stage. Since myelin influences many biophysical processes, several myelin-sensitive MRI methods exist. However, quantitative estimates of the myelin content are typically biased due to oversimplified biophysical models and/or imprecise due to ill-posed data inversion. Solving multiple collocated ill-posed inverse problems jointly enables the reduction of the ambiguity linked to the individual image reconstruction. Geophysics has a long tradition in joint tomographic imaging due to the highly ill-posed nature of geophysical tomography resulting from the poor accessibility of the Earth for tomographic data acquisition. The DZNE and the UFZ strive to transfer joint tomographic imaging concepts from geophysical to medical imaging in order to improve the accuracy of brain myelin mapping.

Your tasks

  • Realize the joint tomographic image reconstruction of four collocated MRI data sets
  • Transfer joint tomographic imaging approaches from geophysical imaging to medical imaging
  • Realize different versions of joint tomographic image reconstruction building on accurate or rapid forward solutions combined with local or global search optimization, respectively
  • Develop modular software to realize the joint tomographic imaging in close consultation with a customer intending to use the software in clinical diagnostics
  • High-level publication of research results and active networking


  • Strong background in applied mathematics
  • Proven experience in realizing non-linear optimization, solution of inverse problems, and/or multi-objective optimization
  • Experience with tomographic image reconstruction and tomographic data
  • Excellent programming skills
  • Software engineering knowledge
  • Motivated, ambitious researcher with good social and communication skills
  • PhD in Mathematics, Physics, Computer Science, Engineering, or similar

We offer

  • Free selection of primary work place between DZNE located in Bonn (Germany) and UFZ located in Leipzig (Germany)
  • Generous travel budget for frequent visits at the partner site (Bonn/Leipzig) and active participation at scientific workshops and conferences
  • Excellent technical facilities for data acquisition and computation
  • A unique cross-domain bridging function for knowledge transfer between geophysical and medical imaging
  • Work in interdisciplinary, multinational research teams. Common languages at work are English and German.  
  • Excellent networking opportunities with other imaging scientists within the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centers and with the HIP Service Units
  • An extensive range of training and further education courses
  • Employment, payment and social benefits according to the Public Sector Collective Agreement (Tarifvertrag für den öffentlichen Dienst – TVöD Bund)

The position is available from 01.07.2021, subject to a valid cooperation agreement between UFZ and DZNE.

You will obtain special skills and knowledge for your scientific qualification. The DZNE and UFZ are equal opportunity employers. They are committed to employing disabled individuals and especially encourage them to apply.

Please submit your application including motivation letter, earliest possible starting date, CV, publication list, relevant transcripts, and two reference via the link below.




Contact details

Prof. Dr. Tony Stöcker

Working hours


Contract length

2 years

Payment, social benefits

according to TVöD Bund

Application deadline

You will obtain special skills and knowledge for your scientific qualification. The DZNE and UFZ are equal opportunity employers. They are committed to employing disabled individuals and especially encourages them to apply.