Institute Associate Scientist III - Discovery and Innovation

Houston, Texas
July 24 2021
Health Sciences
Organization Type
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center aims 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.

MD Anderson Therapeutics Discovery Division
Within The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center lies the Therapeutics Discovery Division (TDD), a powerful engine driving the future of new targeted, immune- and cell-based therapies. Therapeutics Discovery eliminates the bottlenecks that hamper traditional drug discovery by employing 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 TRACTION platform

The Translational Research to AdvanCe Therapeutics and Innovation in ONcology (TRACTION) platform is an industrialized translational research group that aligns world-class drug discovery and development with highly innovative the science and clinical care research, for which MD Anderson Cancer Center is known. Through an investment in patient-centric research, we have developed the infrastructure, platforms, and capabilities to enable transformative research. TRACTION's approach combines innovative cancer genetics, disruptive technologies, deep mechanistic biology, disease modeling, and pharmacology to accelerate the translation of novel discoveries into definitive clinical hypotheses. By partnering with the drug discovery engines within Therapeutics Discovery, we aim to advance a portfolio of small molecules, biologics, and cell therapies for our patients. 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.

We are seeking highly creative, collaborative, and driven scientists to join our growing team at the Therapeutics Discovery Division (TDD). The Institute Associate Scientist III will participate in cross-functional research to identify and validate novel oncology targets, as well as translate these findings into transformative oncology therapies that benefit patients. Under minimal supervision, the candidate will leverage cutting-edge genetic engineering tools to aid in the development of new cancer models and identification of novel genetic dependencies. Further, the candidate will use mechanistic and functional biology to support the advancement of novel targeted therapies and/or define the mechanistic rationale for repositioning existing drugs. These efforts will allow us to initiate novel transformative projects that advance the internal TDD portfolio as well as advance therapeutics currently under development by TDD and our biopharma partners.
As a part of the Therapeutics Discovery team, you will have the opportunity to use your talents to make a direct impact on the lives of our patients. This position will require a self-starter who thrives in a fast-paced environment and who can effectively engage with multi-disciplinary drug discovery teams.

We are searching for new team members who are passionate about our mission... are you up for the challenge?

1. Under minimal supervision, execute functional genomics experiments (CRISPR/RNAi screens, CROP-Seq/Perturb-Seq, scRNA-Seq) as defined by project leaders to enable novel targets identification and deep functional characterizion of relevant tumor contexts.
2. Use cutting edge tools and technologies, the candidate will explore in vitro and in vivo advanced cancer modeling, e.g. generation of isogenic cell lines, creation of somatic GEMM models, engeneering of drug resistance mechanisms and unprecedented oncogenic drivers.
4. Leverage genetic and pharmacological tools to generate data packages around target validation, target biology, and the translational development of novel therapeutics and combinations.
5. Conduct a wide variety of assays, including but not limited to: Western blotting, viral transduction, qPCR, genome editing and cell phenotypic/proliferation assays, ChIP-Seq/RIP-seq, flow cytometry, 3D culture/tissue modeling, immune-phenotyping, and high-content imaging.
6. Employ safe lab practices.
7. Maintain research records and laboratory notes.
8. Coordinate joint efforts with academic collaborators and external partners.
9. Participate in integrated drug discovery research project teams.


Required: Bachelor's degree in Biology, Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Cell Biology, Enzymology, Pharmacology, Chemistry or related field.

Preferred: Bachelor's degree in Biology, Molecular Biology or Cell biology with Master's degree in related field.


Required: Three years of relevant research experience in lab. With preferred degree, one year of required experience.

Preferred: 3 years experience working in a drug-discovery or biotech environment in the fields of Biology, Molecular Biology or Cell Biology. Experience working in matrixed project teams valued. In addition, experience in ChIP-Seq/RIP-seq, flow cytometry, 3D culture/tissue modeling, immune-phenotyping, and/or high-content imaging is preferred.

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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