Senior Research Assistant

Houston, Texas
May 26 2021
Organization Type
The primary purpose of the Senior Research Assistant position is to provide assistance, oversight, and special training to less experienced staff in a research environment. The person is also responsible for a series of experiments designed to supply specific information as part of the larger basic research projects. The position contributes to the development of improved techniques, production methods, and/or procedures. Conducts extensive research using complex animal imaging technology.

1. Oversee designated aspects in a basic research environment: Must have a comprehensive knowledge base of technical and procedural aspects of laboratory research techniques along with executing the details of an experiment. This requires an emphasis on accuracy, precision, normal ranges and the ability to correlate laboratory test results. Maintains high commitments to productivity, efficiency, security, confidentiality and service leadership.
* Plans and performs principal laboratory experiments and interprets results while maintaining regulatory compliance and records.

* Perform most principal standard molecular and cellular biology techniques and tissue culture including:
* Recombinant DNA work: DNA/RNA isolation, PCR, plasmid cloning, restriction analysis, sequence analysis, bacterial manipulation, and transformation.
* RNAi approaches (including lentiviral approaches) for downregulation of gene expression in cultured cells.
* Protein work: protein isolation from tissues and cultured cells, measure protein concentration, perform immunoprecipitation, ELISA, protein gels, and protein blots.
* Assess gene expression by qRT-PCR, western blotting (LiCor and chemiluminescence), immunocytochemistry, immunohistochemistry, immunofluorescence and reporter gene assays.
* Detect mutational changes of genes by performing functional assays to analyze the impact of the mutation on the function of the gene product.
* Must be able to maintain cells in culture as well as perform transient and stable transfections.

Mouse work:
* Perform and assist in animal experiments (mouse) including breeding, weening, injections, downstream processes and analysis, animal maintenance, and euthanize mice according to IACUC/NIH regulations.
*Assist with safety protocols and standards (IACUC/NIH regulations), and record keeping of animal inventory.
* Perform complex animal procedures including administration of drugs/agents to mice through intraperitoneal, subcutaneous, intravenous or gavage.
* Perform surgeries such as tumor implantation, tumor removal, ovariectomy, orchiectomy and insertion of minipumps.
* Perform tumor inoculation through subcutaneous, intraosseous and intracardiac approach
* Tissue collection and staining including:
* Perform tissue harvesting and fixation of various organs.
* Perform specialized immunohistochemical staining of various normal and cancerous tissues, including testis, thyroid and other tissues affected by metastases.

2. Perform and optimize techniques, operates laboratory apparatus and equipment, and utilizes equipment to carry out experiments:

* Must be willing to participate, develop and enhance techniques for the following, but not limited to:
* Sample RNA for qRT-PCR/RNA-Seq/NGS, and design of qRT-PCR primers
* Sample genomic DNA for NGS and gene copy number assays
* Protein sample and antibody concentration to perform immunoprecipitation, western blotting, and ELISA assays
* Cell/tissue fixation protocols, buffers, and antibody host/concentration for immunocytochemistry, immunohistochemistry, and immunofluorescence on cells and tissues (paraffin and OCT embedded samples)
* Methods used for the assessment of tumorigenesis, such as measurement of cell growth in soft agar or Matrigel, cell proliferation rate, cell migration, and cell invasion in Boyden chambers
* Patient's and mice gene mutational analysis by isolating genomic DNA from blood or tumors, doing PCR and analyzing sequencing results.
* Must be able to assess proper functioning of related laboratory equipment, plan for and schedule maintenance when necessary, including but not limited to microscopes, centrifuges, spectrophotometry, LiCor, PCR and qPCR machines, lyophilizer, etc.

3. Additional Laboratory Responsibilities:

* Organize and maintains adequate reserve of laboratory supplies and reagents.
* Orders standard supplies and reagents.
* May supervise, train and coordinate activities of less experienced laboratory staff.
* Assist with preparation of reports and grant requests.
* Conduct literature searches and summarize information in appropriate formats.
* Perform regular monitoring of safety standards in the laboratory; maintain records of hazardous materials.
* Responsible for acquiring continuing education in the various technologies involved in and beyond the scope of the laboratory research by researching, reading and communicating with industry and other research laboratory personnel throughout the country and within the institution.
* Researches literature regularly
* Must be willing to learn new techniques.

4. Other Duties as Assigned


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.

Preferred: Must be willing to be involved with extensive mice research.

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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