Senior Research Assistant (Mouse handling)

Houston, Texas
April 06 2021
Organization Type

The primary purpose of the Senior Research Assistant position is to provide supervision, special training to technical personnel and highly technical work on research in cancer biology of intestinal adenocarcinomas. In particular, work will focus upon the exploration of the molecular characteristics of colorectal cancer and will focus upon characterization and treatment of PDXs. Mechanisms of treatment response and resistance. Research focus would also be in understanding the immune related aspects of colorectal cancer and to study the pathways involved in immune cells/tumor interaction, and immune checkpoint therapy. Projects will include the use of primary and xenograft tumors and cell lines cultures, genome wide molecular analyses, and animal work.


Function: To be a critical member of the research lab and to assist the Principle Investigator and/or immediate supervisor in carrying out technical aspects of research projects.

Scope: Responsible for the planning and successful execution of experiments in the area of cancer biology in accordance with general and/or specific plans received from the immediate supervisor.


Animal work:

• Manage mouse colony under minimal supervision.

• Perform survival surgeries for implantation of patient derived tumor fragments (PDX) and cell lines.

• Hands-on experience of drug dosing techniques (such as oral gavage, IP and SQ) are required.

• Measure tumor response via caliper and non-invasive imaging methods.

• Analyze the outcome of efficacy studies.

• Perform non-survival animal surgeries for collection of specimens for molecular characterization and ex vivo treatment. Previous experience with necropsy and mouse tissue (blood, bone marrow, spleen, lymph nodes) collection are required.

• Extract immune cells from human tumor and mouse tissue (bone marrow, spleen, lymph nodes).
  • Performs general oversight and assists with basic research activities including but not limited to: animal colony operations, custody and use of controlled and IBC-encumbered drugs, and controlled drug and surgery logs. Maintains, validates, and calibrates all lab equipment.

Record keeping:

• Maintain accurate, detailed records of mice colony (including growing PDX models). Ensure that data is entered in a timely manner.

• Ensure that the correct animal identification (ear tags) is placed on animals. Reporting any discrepancies to the supervisor is strongly advised.

• Ensure that all collected tissue samples are properly labeled and deposited to the storage. Ensure that data is entered in a timely manner.
  • Monitors and maintains adequate lab supplies inventory based on anticipated project work-load.
  • Coordinates and regulates chemical inventory for research lab.

Computer skills:

• Analyze and plot experimental data under minimal supervision. Advanced knowledge of Microsoft Excel and Adobe Photoshop is required.

Communication: Excellent verbal and written communication skills are required:

• Must be able to communicate results as well as any potential problems with experiments, in a clear and understandable manner to the supervisor and in lab meetings.

• Must be able to read articles and references and develop step-by-step written procedures to conduct experiments as well as communicate this information to the supervisor and other lab members.

• The ability to provide concise and accurate write ups of methods and results is desired.

Assistance with Lab personnel training:

• Trains basic research staff (graduate students, fellows and post-doctoral trainees) to develop technical knowledge, skill, and/or ability as needed.


• Must maintain a clean and orderly work place.

• Must have the ability and willingness to observe and comply with all institutional rules and OSHA regulations regarding biohazard and radiation safety.
  • Ensures lab operational continuity by managing instrument maintenance and repair contracts, and working with MDACC REF and/or BioMed Engineering to address and resolve facility equipment malfunctions and repairs.
  • Ensures the laboratory is prepared for safety accreditation.

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

Experience Required: Three years of experience in scientific or experimental research work. With preferred degree, one year 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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