NIH Intramural Research Program
May 22, 2024
Bethesda, Maryland
Job Type
Contact Person/Department
Dante Picchioni, PhD


The Advanced MRI Section (AMRI) in the Intramural Research Program of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland is seeking PhD student, MD/PhD student, and postdoctoral fellow candidates in two areas: the study of brain activity during sleep with combined EEG-fMRI, and the development of high-resolution, high-field MRI methods to study iron and myelin distributions in the brain in health and pathology. Candidates interested in other projects will also be considered.

AMRI continues to be active in the development of novel MRI methods for studying the brain. Recent hardware and pulse sequence developments in AMRI have improved resolution, robustness to head motion, and sensitivity to the unique effects of iron and myelin on image contrast. Sophisticated methods are being developed to combine various MRI contrasts to improve the separation between iron and myelin. In part, this is based on detailed analysis of T2* and T2 signal decays in various brain tissue types.

The Section is also active in studying the brain with fMRI during sleep. This encompasses the characterization of both neuronal and autonomic activity changes across the full range of arousal states during overnight sleep. After a successful pilot study, AMRI is approaching completion of a main study, in which 43 subjects will undergo two all-night sessions of EEG-fMRI. Early analysis of the pilot data revealed novel interactions between autonomic and neural activity and activity/connectivity patterns that are independent of the conventional sleep stages. It is anticipated that further development of analysis approaches will be important for the proper analysis and interpretation of the data. Opportunities also exist for AMRI researchers to analyze EEG-fMRI data collected in patients with epilepsy during daytime naps and intracranial EEG data collected during overnight sleep.

As part of the NIH Intramural Research Program, AMRI has access to unique imaging and computational resources, including access to four 3 T and three 7 T human MRI scanners, EEG and MEG systems, and a large (currently 107,444-core) computational cluster. A human 11.7 T scanner is slated to be (re)energized over the next few months. AMRI has a dedicated group of researchers with expertise in state-of-the-art MR imaging techniques, data analysis tools, MRI physics, and sleep neuroscience. AMRI maintains active collaborations with other research groups to apply novel MRI methods to the study of neurodegenerative diseases and epilepsy.


Minimum qualifications:

-A relevant academic degree by the time the appointment begins

-Strong quantitative data analysis skills in advanced statistics, signal processing, and scientific computer programming/command line interfacing

-Interest in developing novel MRI research avenues and/or methods


The start date is flexible. Candidates primarily interested in sleep are requested to send their curriculum vitae to Dante Picchioni, PhD ( All other candidates are requested to send their curriculum vitae to Jeff Duyn, PhD ( Candidates are encouraged to include contact information for three references from mentors and/or colleagues.


For more information on the laboratory, see:

For more information on postdoctoral positions at NIH, see:

For more information on graduate student positions at NIH, see:

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