Research Assistant I - Immunology

Houston, Texas
June 29 2021
Health Sciences
Organization Type
The Immunology department at MD Anderson Cancer Center seeks to determine the fundamental cellular and molecular mechanisms of a wide range of processes by which the body recognizes and eliminates pathogens and use these findings to unleash the patient's own immune system against previously treatment-resistant cancers. Treating the immune system rather than the cancer itself, the therapeutics developed are applicable to many cancers.


Daily Retrieval, Transport, and Distribution of Biospecimen Collected under the Immunotherapy Platform's (IMT) Umbrella Protocol, PA13-0291.
  • Receives email notification/page from institutional/department labs of samples available for pick-up.
    • Labs may include CTRC, Main Core Lab, ITB, IR, BMA Clinic, RHCL Core Lab, and GU Lab.
  • Ensures accuracy of sample pick-up notification by communicating with the IMT Collection Team to verify that the patient(s) has consented to the sample collection and that the sample type/quantity was collected according to plan.
  • Responds to each email notification/page in a timely fashion.
  • Reviews daily schedule of planned and add-on sample collections in IMT sample database (Limfinity) and plans efficient sample pick-up routes.
  • Daily retrieval of various types of biospecimens including fresh blood and bone marrow, frozen tissue, frozen biological liquids, and paraffin materials (ex. glass slides, paraffin-embedded tissue).
  • Visually inspects biospecimens for quality and verifies the accuracy of sample labeling and quantity by referencing documentation in Limfinity or sample manifest provided by the Collection Team; communicates with institutional/departmental lab and/or Collection Team to resolve discrepancies.
  • Records information about specimens into Limfinity (i.e. patient name, number of slides, number of blood tubes, pick-up location and time, etc.); documents chain of custody.
  • Packages and coordinates transport of biospecimen to IMT lab at South Campus; may hand-off samples to institutional courier services or transport specimen (i.e. from Main Campus to South Campus) via shuttle services.
  • De-identifies biospecimen upon arrival to IMT lab and before hand-off to IMT sample processors.
  • Transports sample media and solutions to ITB or other labs as needed.
  • Transport of biospecimen supplies, shippers, containers, and kits to or from IMT lab.
  • Assists other IMT personnel with specimen shipment and storage to ensure turnaround times are met.
  • Wears appropriate personal protective equipment as designated by the lab area.
  • Report spills, contaminations, and hazardous situations immediately and acts appropriately.
  • Properly disposes of biohazardous waste.
  • Routinely collaborates with the IMT Information System Team to enhance Limfinity database and resolve any issues that may arise.
  • Maintains a clean and organized work area.

Professional level & growth
  • Attends appropriate departmental meetings and institutional continuing education programs.
  • Maintains safe, secure, and healthy work environment by following standards and procedures; complying with federal and state legal regulations and Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) requirements.
  • Read, understands, and follows applicable Standard Operating Procedures (SOP's), including safety and quality procedures.

Other duties
  • Demonstrates excellent oral and written communication skills when contacting other departments by phone, email, and/or face-to-face interactions.
  • Assimilate pertinent information to compose written correspondence.
  • Other duties as required.


Required: Bachelor's degree, major course work in one of the basic sciences.

Experience: None required.

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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