Call for Expression of interest for a Study Scholarship at Research Center “E. Piaggio”


The Research Center “E . Piaggio” is going to open a study scholarship for graduate master students in in Computer, Biomedical or Bionics Engineering
The topic of the scholarship will be the analysis of neuron images from microscopy. The final objective is to accurately quantify neuronal morphology at tissue and molecular levels through the
development of intelligent segmentation-based image processing algorithms. Specifically, this activity will build the necessary background to improve an algorithm to isolate single neurons or smaller neuronal structures from 3D datasets representing the intricacies of the brain micro-structure. Researchers at Centro Piaggio have implemented a novel segmentation algorithm (known as SmRG or Smart Region Growing
algorithm) that represents an extension of a region growing procedure. Specifically, its homogeneity predicate is based on a statistical model of image signal and noise, that can be estimated locally, and
results in the probability of a pixel to belong to the object to be segmented (e.g., a neuron). Specifically, a mixture model is estimated through an expectation maximization approach. This activity will be developed within the FLAG-ERA Project and Partnering Project of the Human Brain Project SENSEI Student Scholarship Goals: the candidate should study the procedures to characterize the statistical
properties of microscopy images with the aim of improving the generalizability of the current segmentation algorithm to different image modalities (STED, STORM/PAINT, 3D SOFI) and protocols (CLARITY,
MemBright, immuno-labelling). Besides knowledge on statistical signal and image processing, programming skills in Matlab environment is are required. Knowledge about other programming languages (e.g. Python) are appreciated. Eligibility condition is met when master degree is achieved not more than 18 months prior to the application deadline.
The proposed scholarship will have an expected duration of six months, and is likely to start on May/June 2021.
For further information, please contact Nicola Vanello ( and Chiara Magliaro