Senior Research Assistant

Houston, Texas
March 26 2021
Organization Type
The primary purpose of the Senior Research Assistant position is to provide supervision, special training to technical personnel, and/or highly technical work in medical and related research projects. The Senior Research Assistant conducts experiments in the area of molecular and cellular biology of cancer and immunology, discusses goals of each project with supervisor and receives verbal and/or written instructions from the supervisor on how to conduct an assay or experiment to achieve the goals of the project. Based on these discussions and basic instructions, the candidate will develop a step-by-step written procedure of specific actions required to conduct the experiment prior to proceeding.


Cell Culture, MacroMolecules, Hazardous/Radioactive Substrates & Patient Tissues:

* Maintain stock cancer cell lines for cell culture, to include: growing, expanding, and freezing utilizing sterile techniques.

* Ability to isolate and assay macromolecules such as DNA, RNA, and proteins. Successful completion of these assays may require knowledge of molecular biology techniques.

* Ability for perform standard immunologic (e.g. primary T cell isolation, flow cytometry, ELISA) and molecular biology (e.g. PCR, cloning, Westerns) techniques. Some procedures will require the use of hazardous and/or radioactive substrates. Must maintain appropriate environmental surveys for radioactivity and other hazardous materials. and maintain records of hazardous chemicals and reagents as required.

* Handle patient tissues, with familiarity of safety procedures.

Record Keeping & Professional Literature:

* Manually and promptly record research data. Analyzes data, prepares graphs, charts, and/or tables for publications. Knowledge of word processing programs and spreadsheets. Discusses results from each assay to insure accuracy and comparability with previous results of similar assays and reconciles discrepancies as soon as possible. ** Reads and discusses selected literature with supervisor and other laboratory personnel.

Lab Management Responsibilities, Assisting & Teaching Others:

*Responsible for partial lab management duties such as stocking supplies, maintaining equipment, and ensuring lab productivity and workflow.

* Assists other laboratory personnel with animal experiments as necessary, to include: injection of cancer cells, assessing tumor size, and harvesting tumors.

* Helps laboratory manager teach techniques to graduate students, surgical fellows, and other research personnel.


Analytical Thinking - Gather relevant information systematically; break down problems into simple components; make sound decisions.

Innovative Thinking - Approach problems with curiosity and open-mindedness; offer new ideas, solutions and/or options.

Technical/Functional Expertise - Demonstrate technical proficiency required to do the job; possess up-to-date knowledge in the profession; provide technical expertise to others.

Provide service to our stakeholders, including patients, caregivers, colleagues and each other, in a safe, courteous, accountable, efficient and innovative manner to include:
  • Promoting inclusiveness and collegiality that demonstrates respect and professionalism to our stakeholders at all times
  • Modeling safe, ethical behavior that mitigates risk to the institution through sound business practices, and adherence to MD Anderson's Standards of Conduct, institutional policies and procedures
  • Responding to requests in a timely manner while proactively communicating expectations for procedures, service arrival, or project deliverables to stakeholders
  • Using the steps to HEAL (Hear, Empathize, Address and Learn) the relationship when service recovery is needed.

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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