Research Assistant II

Houston, Texas
September 12 2020
Organization Type
Research Assistant II

The particular goals of the Department of Thoracic/Head and Neck Medical Oncology are to provide the highest quality of care to our patients and to advance the treatment and prevention of aerodigestive cancers through innovative clinical and laboratory research.Our investigations involve many of the most promising molecularly-targeted agents and combinations of agents currently known. We emphasize rigorous study conduct and impeccable study design, and many of our studies have been developed through cooperative group mechanisms. The Department of Thoracic/Head and Neck Medical Oncology staff directly responsible for patient care is comprised of 20 physicians, 13 research nurses, two inpatient mid-level providers and 10 outpatient mid-level providers. Our physician team includes nine physicians who care only for thoracic medical oncology patients in the Thoracic Center, one medical oncologist who treats head/neck patients in the Head/Neck Center and 10 medical oncologists who treat both lung cancer and head/neck cancer patients in those respective outpatient clinic areas.


Tissue Culture

-Maintain and establish culture of human and murine cells, which require rigorous sterile techniques. Observe and identify cell changes under the microscope, determine cell counts and cell viability.
-T cell culture and expansion.
-Prepare sterile media and solutions.
-Purify cells by various methods and monitor cells for proliferation and activation by standard laboratory methods.
-Monitor supplies, order and store tissue culture supplies to ensure efficient functioning.
-Prepare cells for cryogenic storage and keep them organized and updated on the laboratory inventoried cell stock list.

Molecular and Cellular Biology

-Protein, RNA, DNA isolation.
-Polymerase chain reaction (PCR).
-Plasmid transfection and transformation.
-Tumor, and blood processing (mouse/human) and isolation of tumor/immune cells.
-Flow cytometry and cell sorting.
-Magnetic cell separation.
-Functional assays: T cell / Tumor cell co-cultures, Cytokine assays (ELISA, ELISPOT)

Work with Animals or Animal/Human Products

-Conduct experiments involving animals and animal or human tissues, in accordance with appropriate institutional and regulatory guidelines.
-Knowledgeable of safety concerns when working with animal/human tissues.
-Work on animal tissues will require application of universal safety precautions at all times.
-Effectively communicate with the Department of Veterinary Medicine to process samples (tissues, tissue blocks, and slides) and will manage/maintain accurate records/samples.

Record Keeping and Data Collection

-Maintain accurate, detailed records and experimental data and protocols.
-Prepare graphs, slides and tables via computer.
-Communicate results to and understand instructions from principal investigator and colleagues. Fluent spoken English is essential.
-Discusses goals of each project with supervisor. Develop a step-by-step written procedure outlining the specific actions required to conduct the experiment before proceeding.
-Read literature and confer with supervisor regarding new procedures and modify them according to the needs of the project.

Laboratory Safety/Lab Equipment Maintenance

-Demonstrate and practice lab safety precautions.
-Receive verbal and/or written instructions from principal investigator on standards and specialized lab safety procedures.
-Attend annual safety courses required by MDA and other agencies. Handle, store, and dispose of radioactive isotopes, chemically hazardous materials, and bio hazardous materials in procedure specified to meet MDA safety guidelines.
-Follow manufacturer's guidelines regarding the handling and maintenance of all lab equipment. Have working knowledge of equipment operation manuals and procedure manuals whenever necessary.
-Order reagents and materials when needed.
-Monitor work flow as it pertains to the need for supplies, equipment maintenance, and preparing stock solutions.

Organization and performance of laboratory procedures

-Expand knowledge of ongoing techniques in the laboratory and enhance proficiency in planning, executing, and troubleshooting these techniques.
-Participate in adopting new techniques (both in vitro and in vivo) while continuously increasing knowledge and skills to enhance lab research efforts.
-Maintain assertiveness and flexibility in approaching new techniques and responsibilities; utilize good work habits and time management.
-Maintain alertness and careful attention to avoid injury to self and others due to chemicals and hazardous materials in the laboratory.

Other duties as assigned

Education Required: Bachelor's degree with major course works in one of the basic sciences.

Experience Required: Two years experience in scientific or experimental research work. No experience required with preferred degree.

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.