Institute Associate Scientist III - Biomarker Development

Houston, Texas
August 27 2019
Organization Type

Within The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center lies a powerful engine driving the future of new targeted, immune- and cell-based therapies: the Therapeutics Discovery Division. Therapeutics Discovery eliminates the bottlenecks that hamper traditional drug discovery, with a multidisciplinary team of dedicated researchers, doctors, drug developers and scientific experts working together to develop small-molecule drugs, biologics and cellular therapies. Our unique structure and collaborative approach allow the team to work with agility, bringing novel medicines from concept to clinic quickly and efficiently - all under the same roof.

The Therapeutics Discovery Division is built around four platforms: The Institute for Applied Cancer Science (IACS), ORBIT (Oncology Research for Biologics and Immunotherapy Translation), TRACTION (Translational Research to Advance Therapeutics and Innovation in Oncology) and the Neurodegeneration Consortium.

The IACS platform is focused on discovering and developing the next generation of small-molecule targeted therapies, driven by the needs we see in our patients. The team aligns world-class drug discovery and development research with the science and clinical care for which MD Anderson is known. We work in a fast-paced, milestone-driven environment with a focus on team science and interdisciplinary research. Our unique approach has created a biotech-like engine within the walls of the nation's leading cancer center to bring life-saving medicines to our patients more quickly and effectively. This model already has achieved results, with multiple programs currently in clinical and late-stage preclinical development.

As part of the IACS team, the Associate Scientist III for Biomarkers will be part of a group that works with our in vivo pharmacologists, chemists and TRACTION biologists to provide biomarker support for preclinical and clinical development of therapeutics. The position requires working with several cross-functional teams, subject matter experts and cores across the Institution to utilize state-of-the-art preclinical models and platforms to discover, validate and translate exploratory biomarkers into informative translational assays. These assays will be used to establish dose-response-efficacy relationships that will inform on future clinical studies. By incorporating biological insights into tractable biomarkers, we strive to advance therapeutics under development by IACS, the MD Anderson Moon Shots disease teams, and our corporate partners.

By joining the Therapeutics Discovery Division, you have the opportunity to use your talents to make a direct impact on the lives of our patients. We are seeking a highly motivated and collaborative individual to become a part of our team. Ideal candidates should be self-motivated and have experience with molecular, biological and functional biomarker assays, as well as possess excellent communication, collaboration and organization skills.


1.With minimal supervision, develop and optimize assays to enable evaluation of preclinical and clinical tumor samples through internal processing and/or coordination with external groups utilizing pathology, proteomic (immunohistochemistry, IF, RPPA, Western, ELISA), mRNA (RNAseq, nanostring, RNAscope, and PCR), metabolomic (Flux, mass spec), and cellular (Seahorse, immune profiling via flow cytometry) analysis.

2.Under minimal supervision develop research work plans and study designs.

3.Interact with the clinical nurses/labs to receive and archive clinical samples as well as execute assays to evaluate samples.

4.Function as the liaison between project team leads and external biomarker Core facilities and CROs to coordinate analysis requests and sample shipment.

5.Serve as a technical lead, advisor or biomarker expert and participate in project team meetings.

6.Participate in the maintenance of physical and electronic sample archiving system.

7.Effectively communicate with supervisor, colleagues and collaborators.

8.Consistently document data in accordance with defined timeline.

9.Effectively analyze, prepare and present data to supervisor, project team and other stakeholders.

10.Employ and ensure safe lab practices and maintain research records and laboratory notes.


Required: Bachelor's degree in Biology, Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Cell Biology, Enzymology, Pharmacology, Chemistry or related field.

Preferred: Preferred: Master's or equivalent degree in Biology, Cell Biology, Molecular biology or related field.


Required: Three years of relevant research experience in lab. With preferred degree, one year of required experience.


At least one year of relevant research and in a biotech or industry-like environment.

1. Working knowledge of oncology disease processes and preclinical models.

2. Experience using flow cytometry/immunohistochemistry to measure markers in tumor cells.

3. Experience using various methods to characterize and evaluate in vivo target and pathway biology as part of drug discovery efforts. This includes protein (immunohistochemistry, IF, RPPA, Western, ELISA), mRNA (RNAseq, nanostring, RNAscope, and PCR), metabolomic (Flux, mass spec), and cellular (Seahorse and flow cytometry) biomarker assays.

4. Experience working with patient samples, particularly blood-based assays.

5. Demonstrated ability for critical thinking and problem solving.

6. Demonstrated ability to collaborate effectively in a multi-disciplinary team.

7. Excellent communication and organizational skills.

8. Demonstrated ability for taking initiative and working independently.

It is the policy of The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center to provide equal employment opportunity without regard to race, color, religion, age, national origin, sex, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, disability, protected veteran status, genetic information, or any other basis protected by institutional policy or by federal, state or local laws unless such distinction is required by law.


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