University Professor of Artificial Intelligence in Medical Imaging

Universiteit van Amsterdam – Faculty of Medicine

The UvA is looking for an internationally recognized scholar who will initiate and carry out research and education on AI in Medical Imaging, as part of its university wide initiative to strengthen expertise in the area of AI. The University Professor of Artificial Intelligence and Medical Imaging will perform these tasks in close collaboration with colleagues at the Faculty of Medicine (University Medical Centre Amsterdam, location AMC), and with the other University Professors in AI.

With over 5,000 employees, 30,000 students and a budget of more than 600 million euros, the University of Amsterdam (UvA) is an intellectual hub within the Netherlands. Teaching and research at the UvA are conducted within seven faculties: Humanities, Social and Behavioural Sciences, Economics and Business, Law, Science, Medicine and Dentistry. Housed on four city campuses in or near the heart of Amsterdam, where disciplines come together and interact, the faculties have close links with thousands of researchers and hundreds of institutions at home and abroad.

The UvA’s students and employees are independent thinkers, competent rebels who dare to question dogmas and aren’t satisfied with easy answers and standard solutions. To work at the UvA is to work in an independent, creative, innovative and international climate characterised by an open atmosphere and a genuine engagement with the city of Amsterdam and society.

The Faculty of Medicine is based at the UMC Amsterdam, location AMC. The Medical Educational Institute provides the Bachelor’s and Master’s programmes in medicine. The Medical Informatics Educational Institute is responsible for the Bachelor’s and Master’s degree programmes in Medical Informatics. The educational components of doctoral programmes are provided by the AMC Graduate School. The AMC-UvA also offers postgraduate education to healthcare professionals, in the form of the Master’s in Evidence-Based Practice and the Health Informatics programme. The AMC-UvA also provides the specialist medical programmes for nearly all medical specialisations recognised in the Netherlands. 

Job description
There have been strong developments in artificial intelligence (AI) techniques in medical imaging, especially deep learning techniques. In general AI is widely expected to be the key to improving quality of life and, simultaneously achieving a reduction of health costs. These methods are increasingly capable to interpret computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) examinations as well as to analyze combined datasets of imaging and other datasets of clinical findings. Neural networks can also be used for image reconstruction, leading to faster imaging and decreasing the time patients need to spend in a scanner. Deep learning methods are capable of dealing with multidimensional imaging information (anatomy, pathological findings, functional information, quantification, molecular imaging, pathophysiology). This complexity is increasingly beyond human capabilities while deep learning techniques can use complex data to generate new information. It is anticipated that these algorithms can be further improved by making use of physical, biological and physiological relations. In this way more sparse data can be used to come to an accurate diagnosis.

The foreseen steep increase in use of AI techniques in medical imaging and medicine in general is associated with societal and economic, ethical and legal consequences. There is a clear demand to address these and other societal issues in parallel to AI technological developments before AI can be implemented. For example, how will patients consider AI made diagnoses without human interaction, who is responsible and liable for AI made diagnoses, AI may be used by patients on their (imaging) data without consulting a medical professional, what is the impact of AI for health professionals (e.g. autonomy, job satisfaction, unemployment). Although these and other societal issues of AI are appreciated to a certain extent, the mandatory research into these aspects is essentially lagging behind the developments in AI technology.

In the coming decades, our aging population will pose an increasing burden on society such that appropriate investment in health and vitality technology will become crucial. Further, new techniques and drugs are introduced that are often expensive (or even very expensive). Here imaging plays a pivotal role in the workup and management of many diseases and there has been a steep rise in imaging examinations performed worldwide. Importantly, over the years imaging techniques have changed from a few two-dimensional radiographs to large three-dimensional datasets with increasing complexity of information (e.g. functional imaging). Both with respect to the complexity of the datasets and the amount of datasets there is a great need for new tools to extract all relevant information, compare different imaging methods, integrate imaging data with other clinical data and to deal with the large volume of examinations in a cost effective manner. Accordingly, tools facilitating optimal treatment selection of patients are highly needed for efficient deployment of resources.

Teaching and research
As one of the four University Professors to be appointed by the Executive Board, the chair will realise the following ambitions:

  • bring about innovation in AI research and teaching, and its use in society, with a focus on collaborative inter-faculty research into AI issues, also with the other University Professors;
  • modernise the curriculum, increase its relevance to academic and social innovation;
  • seek the involvement of external parties (businesses, civic organisations, all levels of government) in research, education and other types of valorisation;
  • proceeding from a position of excellence, bring about innovation within the university by inspiring students, researchers and lecturers;
  • engage the academic community and encourage debate within the university on (the impact of) AI;
  • generate more social visibility for the UvA in terms of its research, teaching and public-private cooperation.

The chair will:

  • initiate new AI research with respect to technical advances in AI imaging research and implementation in clinical practice (close interaction with clinical researchers) and to the societal impact of AI;
  • be expected to actively work across medical disciplines on the one hand and across medicine and the humanities, social sciences and sciences on the other;
  • collaborate within Amsterdam UMC (location AMC and VUmc), within the University of Amsterdam (among which the other University Professorships, but also with other researchers in the Faculties of Humanities, Law, Science, and the Social Sciences), KNAW Spinoza Centre, and beyond;
  • lead AI imaging research at Amsterdam UMC (location AMC) and stimulate ongoing AI research on automated analysis of imaging;
  • initiate initiatives to investigate the role and impact of AI concerning medical imaging as well as broader medical applications in the curricula of medicine and medical informatics.

Position within the University of Amsterdam
The University of Amsterdam (UvA) has taken up a leading role in the technical developments of AI and, as a comprehensive university, has invested strongly in research into the applications and societal embedding of AI. The UvA operates in an environment that devotes considerable resources to AI-research; the business community, civic organisations and (local) government are also extremely active on this front. The Executive Board expects that the appointment of four new University Professors specialised in the field of AI (AI and Information Retrieval; Humanities and AI; Law and Technology with special emphasis on AI; and AI and Medical Imaging) will invigorate the various research projects, programmes and partnerships that currently exist throughout the UvA.

The University Professor of AI in Medical Imaging will be appointed by the Executive Board and liaised with the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Amsterdam (Amsterdam UMC, location AMC). At the Faculty of Medicine, the chair will be positioned in Division 8 (Imaging) at the department of Radiology and Nuclear Medicine and the department of Biomedical Engineering and Physics. At these departments there is on-going collaborative technical AI-research. Researchers and clinicians of these departments are active in the Medical Imaging Quantification Centre at the AMC and the Institute Quantivision, one of the 8 Centres of Research Excellence of the Innovative Medical Devices Initiative of ZonMW and NWO. In principle, the professorship will become part of the Faculty of Medicine after five years. To enhance their university-wide impact, University Professors are given centrally located offices as well as one at their liaised Faculty. University Professors confer regularly as a group and meet with relevant stakeholders from within and outside the UvA and participate in the activities of the research institute with which they are liaised.

The ideal candidate will initiate new research within the broad field of AI in Medical Imaging. The candidate will also be capable of bridging AI-research in Medicine and other academic disciplines.

Candidates for the position are expected to meet the following requirements:

  • a relevant doctoral degree with demonstrable expertise in a subject related to Artificial Intelligence;
  • an excellent international reputation and an excellent academic publication record in the application and impact of AI in (medical) imaging;
  • experience with and effective in collaborative projects;
  • a proven track record of acquiring external research funding;
  • experience in the supervision of PhD-tracks;
  • an experienced and enthusiastic teacher on all levels of academic training.
  • experience in developing new teaching programmes;
  • documented excellence in teaching and commitment to stimulating and supervising PhD research;
  • an extensive national and international network with other academic and public and/or private institutions;
  • the ability to contribute to knowledge exchange in public as well as academic settings;
  • the ability to establish productive connections with other academic disciplines within as well as outside the department;
  • the ability to initiate the academic and societal discussions on the impact of AI in medical imaging, medicine in general, medical decision making and on patients.          
  • proven excellent management and leadership qualities;
  • the ability to contribute to knowledge exchange in public as well as in an academic setting;
  • the ability to establish productive connections with other academic disciplines.

Further information
For further details about this position, interested parties should contact the secretary of the selection committee:

  • dr. N. Brunsveld MBA, Senior Policy Advisory Research & Innovation
    T: +31 (0)20 525 8768


  • E. Jaspers, Head of HR Executive Staff
    T:+31 (0)20 525 3518

Both will be available until 20 July and from 20 August onwards.

The University Professorship entails a permanent appointment that in principle converts to a chair at the Faculty of Medicine after five years. Salary and benefits will be in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities and with the university regulations for academic personnel, and, depending on experience, range from a minimum €5,582 to €9,812 gross per month (salary scale H2 or H1, €77,902 to €136,936 per annum, including 8% holiday pay and an 8,3% end of year payment) on a full-time basis (38 hours per week).

Job application
The UvA is an equal opportunity employer. We celebrate diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for all employees. We value a spirit of enquiry and endurance, provide the space to keep asking questions and cherish a diverse atmosphere of curiosity and creativity.

Candidates are invited to submit their application no later than Sunday 9 September 2018, 23.59h CET. Please combine in one pdf:

  • an application letter in Dutch or English;
  • a curriculum vitae;
  • a list of publications.

The application should be addressed to Prof. Karen Maex, Rector Magnificus of the UvA using the link below.

Applications will be received by a selection committee headed by Prof. Karen Maex. The application process will be confidential.

A first round of interviews is scheduled on Monday 24 and Thursday 27 September 2018 in Amsterdam. Candidates will be notified by Monday 17 September if and when they are invited for an interview. Following a procedure which may involve a formal assessment and a public trial lecture, the committee will make its final recommendation to the Executive Board of the UvA.

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