Senior Research Assistant - Molecular & Cellular Oncology

Houston, Texas
May 19 2021
Organization Type
The mission of the Department of Molecular and Cellular Oncology (MCO) is to enable and apply basic research excellence to significantly contribute to ending cancer. The department's oncology-driven research focuses on fundamental mechanistic discoveries and their translation to humans. As a basic science department at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, MCO strives to enhance basic research excellence by establishing a strong research group focused on the molecular and cellular aspects of cancer research, particularly in signaling pathways and crosstalk between tumor and tumor microenvironment in tumor initiation, progression and metastasis, and resistance to various therapies. The Department's research interests include, but are not limited to: cancer cell signaling, metabolism, RNA biology, genetics and epigenetics, DNA damage and repairs, and structural biology. MCO hosts MD Anderson's Functional Genomics Core with the support of the Cancer Center Supporting Grant.


Conduct research experiments and projects.
  • Conduct research experiments and projects in liver studies independently with minimal oversight and work collaboratively.
  • Assist in coordinating the Beretta lab mouse studies. Help address any issue(s) that may cause a delay in progress.
  • Prepare and update protocols.
  • Maintain databases/inventory and relevant data.
  • Utilize equipment needed for experiments.
  • Perform administrative tasks such as tracking study progress, including but not limited to, summary for Progress Reports, meeting agendas and minutes/action items.

Animal studies and biospecimens analysis.
  • Perform a nimal work - which may include mouse colony management, breeding, genotyping, animal dosing (oral gavage, IP or IV) , imaging, histopathology, blood and tissue collection, sacrifice, postmortem analysis, and related tasks and record-keeping for all animal strains; tissue preparation, sample processing and IACUC protocols.
  • Maintain and establish single-cell isolation and molecular analysis of collected biospecimens.

Lab Safety and Equipment Maintenance
  • Provide oversight of lab safety procedures.
  • Ensure equipment is functioning properly and safely.
  • Ensure that lab safety records, chemical and biospecimen inventory records are current.

Coordinate collaborative efforts of the laboratory.
  • Participate in the design, implementation and evaluation of collaborative research studies and projects stages; analyze data; create publication-quality figures summarizing data; assist with manuscript and grant preparation; maintain a legible and self-explanatory scientific notebook; discuss and present findings in lab meetings.
  • Prepare final reports, assist with scientific manuscripts to promote ongoing research projects, submit to PI for publications, grants or protocols.
  • Show willingness to learn and help others implement new techniques.
  • Perform administrative tasks for overseeing equipment maintenance and repair.
  • Train staff and students/trainees in lab procedures and the use of equipment.

Provide research support.
  • Perform experiments in molecular biology which include but not limited to isolating DNA/RNA, performing PCR/QPCR, immunostaining and ELISA.
  • Cross-train to be able to prove back-up for translational research projects which may include processing of blood samples received from collaborating sites, data entry related to sample and biomarker assays.
  • Prepare and update protocols as needed, to support lab projects.
  • Maintain database of bio-specimens and relevant data, generated within the Beretta lab.
  • Keep accurate records of experimental design and results, and accurate data analysis.


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

Preferred: Master's degree in one of the natural sciences or related field.


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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