Research Investigator

Houston, Texas
February 24 2021
Organization Type
Research Investigator

While encompassing the overall mission of MD Anderson Cancer Center, 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.


General laboratory duties and procedures

- Discuss goals of each project with supervisor and independently drive and execute experiments to reach these goals
- Learn ongoing techniques in the laboratory and become proficient in planning, executing, and troubleshooting these techniques.
- Find and participate in adopting new techniques and learn new skills to enhance lab research efforts
- Develop and use a step-by-step written procedure outlining the specific actions required to conduct the experiments before proceeding
- Carefully take notes sufficient for a third-party individual to repeat the experiments without consultation with the person making the notes
- Properly record data produced by experiments
- Apply appropriate analytical methods and statistical models
- Participate in oral and written communication of results
- Maintain (take inventory, order, receive, and organize) lab supplies, inventory, and equipment
- Develop, record, and maintain a laboratory-wide central repository of, e.g., cell-lines, plasmids, bacteria, and adenovirus

Cell Culture

- Maintain and establish 2D and 3D cultures of human and murine cells using rigorous sterile techniques
- Prepare sterile media and solutions
- Prepare cell cultures for viable freezing and cryogenic storage
- Perform a variety of in vitro experiments, including drug screenings and identifying optimal radiation regimens
- This work requires using the microscope for prolonged periods, working for prolonged periods with hands extended under a flow hood and lifting cases (

Animals and Animal and/or Human Samples

- Implant tumors from cell-lines or patient-derived xenografts in animals
- Perform in vivo testing of cancer therapeutics such as (but not limited to) DNA damage repair inhibitors, immune checkpoints, cellular therapies, and radiation therapy
- Collect samples (e.g., normal tissues, tumors, blood, and feces) from animals
- Process animal or human blood samples to retrieve serum/plasma, and PBMC
- Process animal or human samples for imaging purposes and other downstream applications
- Process animal or human samples for long-term storage appropriately

Molecular and Cellular Biology, and Immunology

- Isolate RNA, DNA, and proteins from cells and tissues
- Create single cell suspension from cell culture and animal and human tissues
- Prepare bulk and single cell sequencing libraries using custom or commercial kits
- Use various PCR techniques for, e.g., quality control or measuring transcriptional activity using RT-qPCR
- Use immunoprecipitation for various downstream applications
- Use Western-blot to quantify protein levels
- Use ELISA and multiplex ELISA
- Determine cell viability and use proliferation assays
- Perform analysis of apoptosis and cell cycle stage using flow cytometry
- Perform knock-down/out experiments using siRNA or CRISPR technology
- Use immunohistochemistry for imaging purposes
- Use molecular cloning and mutagenesis techniques
- Perform transfection and transduction of genes into animal and human cells
- Use flow cytometry to identify cell types and phenotypes and quantify differences between populations
- Continuously learn about cell surface markers that best distinguish immune cell types and phenotypes
- Sort and purify cells using flow cytometry and magnetic beads
- Perform functional T cell assays (e.g., stimulations/expansions, ELISPOT, target cell killing, etc.)
- High-throughput screening of antigenicity and T cell specificity

Laboratory Safety

- Always work in accordance with appropriate institutional and regulatory guidelines
- Always maintain alertness and careful attention to avoid accidents and injury to self and others due to work performed in laboratory and related facilities
- Receive verbal and/or written instructions from principal investigator on standards and specialized lab safety procedures and work according to those
- Attend annual safety courses required by MDA and other agencies
- Follows manufacturer's guidelines regarding the handling and maintenance of all lab equipment

Other duties as assigned

Education Required: Bachelor's degree in one of the natural sciences or related field.

Experience Required: Five years of experience in scientific or experimental research work. With preferred degree, three years of required experience.

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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