Institute Research Investigator - Structural Chemistry

Houston, Texas
February 24 2021
Organization Type
The mission of The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center is to eliminate cancer in Texas, the nation, and the world through outstanding programs that integrate patient care, research and prevention, and through education for undergraduate and graduate students, trainees, professionals, employees and the public.

Within The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center lies a powerful engine driving the future of new targeted, immune- and cell-based therapies: the Therapeutics Discovery Division. Therapeutics Discovery eliminates the bottlenecks that hamper traditional drug discovery, with a multidisciplinary team of dedicated researchers, doctors, drug developers and scientific experts working together to develop small-molecule drugs, biologics and cellular therapies. Our unique structure and collaborative approach allow the team to work with agility, bringing novel medicines from concept to clinic quickly and efficiently - all under the same roof.

The Therapeutics Discovery Division is built around four platforms: The Institute for Applied Cancer Science (IACS), ORBIT (Oncology Research for Biologics and Immunotherapy Translation), TRACTION (Translational Research to Advance Therapeutics and Innovation in Oncology) and the Neurodegeneration Consortium.
The IACS platform is focused on discovering and developing the next generation of small-molecule targeted therapies, driven by the needs we see in our patients. The team aligns world-class drug discovery and development research with the science and clinical care for which MD Anderson is known. We work in a fast-paced, milestone-driven environment with a focus on team science and interdisciplinary research. Our unique approach has created a biotech-like engine within the walls of the nation's leading cancer center to bring life-saving medicines to our patients more quickly and effectively. This model already has achieved results, with multiple programs currently in clinical and late-stage preclinical development.
The Institute Research Investigator in the structural chemistry group of the Institute for Applied Cancer Science (IACS) participates in cross-functional research to advance our drug discovery projects from early exploratory efforts through lead optimization, ultimately delivering therapeutic agents of benefit to patients. As part of the IACS team, the Institute Research Investigator will be responsible for delivering high-quality protein samples for a variety of crucial applications, including in vitro assays, X-ray crystallography, and cryo-electron microscopy, through a combination of labwork and management of external resources.
By joining the Therapeutics Discovery Division, you have the opportunity to use your talents to make a direct impact on the lives of our patients. We are seeking a highly motivated and collaborative individual to become a part of our team. The ideal candidate will have a demonstrated track record of protein expression from baculovirus, experience with protein biophysical characterization, and a passion for protein science.

Key Functions
1. Conduct laboratory experiments to express, purify, and characterize recombinant proteins.
2. Conduct test expression experiments to identify optimal expression system (eg. E. coli, insect cell, mammalian) and conditions for protein production.
3. Troubleshoot protein purification issues in order to obtain high-quality protein at desired yield.
4. Perform protein characterization experiments using a variety of biophysical techniques, including isothermal titration calorimetry, differential scanning fluorimetry, and dynamic light scattering, to ensure suitable quality for downstream applications (in vitro assays, structural biology, etc.).
5. Coordinate protein production outsourcing to external vendors and contract research organizations.
6. Interact closely with cross-functional groups, including in vitro pharmacology and structural biology, on discovery-based project teams.
7. Employ safe lab practices.
8. Maintain research records and laboratory notes.


Required: Bachelor's degree in biology, biochemistry, molecular biology, cell biology, enzymology, pharmacology, chemistry or related field.

Preferred: PhD in one of the natural sciences or related field or Medical degree.


Required: Six years experience of relevant research experience in laboratory With Master's degree, four years of required experience. With a PhD in a natural science or Medical degree, no experience required.

Preferred: Strong knowledge of contemporary protein expression and purification techniques. Experience with insect cell and bacterial expression is a necessity, and mammalian expression systems is preferred but not required. A demonstrated track record of delivering crystallography-grade protein. Experience with protein crystallization and running biophysical assays is valuable, but not necessary.

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.