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Research Asst II- Cancer Systems Imaging

University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Houston, Texas
Closing date
Dec 7, 2021

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Health Sciences
Organization Type
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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.


The primary purpose of the Research Assistant II (RA II) position is to perform complex experiments requiring advanced laboratory techniques, specifically, through designing and implementing a variety of laboratory protocols and experiments. The RAII will provide technical support to the faculty members' lab group in the Department of Cancer Systems Imaging.


Research Support Perform technical laboratory duties to supply information as part of a research project or laboratory. Perform duties in accordance with general and/or specific plans. Assemble and operate laboratory apparatus and equipment. Record and evaluate data obtained, in accordance with methods requested. Execute analytical benchtop work involving DNA/RNA extraction, cloning, PCR, protein analysis, tumor cell line culture, lentiviral production, stable cell transduction, and radioisotope cell uptake assays, animal experimentation (cell injection, tissue harvest, and bioluminescence and positron emission tomography imaging).
Tissue Culture: Must have excellent tissue culture technique and be able to maintain and store cell lines under sterile and healthy conditions. Candidate should follow ATCC guideline for cell culture and cryogenic storage. Candidate must have the ability to observe and identify cell changes under the microscope, determine cell counts and cell viability. Utilize aseptic techniques and biosafety measures in experimental work.
Animals: Candidate would successfully complete training and certification to handle and work with live animals, primarily mice, in a safe and humane manner following institutional guidelines. Assisting fellow laboratory personnel with animal experiments such as imaging. Stores and analyzes animal tissue and keep records of ongoing data for future experiments.
Basic Techniques: Molecular biology and cancer biology. Isolates, purifies and analyzes RNA, DNA and protein including hybridization, gel electrophoresis, staining, performing PCR reactions, quantitative RT-PCR assays, and western analysis of protein. Will carry out in vitro RNA transcription, RNA purification, RNA-DNA ligation and in vitro protein translation. Performs selection for target binding using biological display libraries and interprets the resulting data. Synthesizes and purifies peptides for downstream characterization. Performs biding assays including fluorescence polarization anisotropy, surface plasmon resonance, and ELISA.

Laboratory Organization Assists with general lab functions such as organizing and restocking common supplies, receiving and distributing orders, ordering lab supplies, disposing of biohazard boxes, preparing autoclave items and maintaining glassware. Should be able to maintain and operate equipment such as high-speed centrifuges, pH meters and microfuges. Must be able to comply with all institutional safety policies including Universal Precautions and OSHA standards when handling toxic, hazardous, flammable, radioactive or potentially infectious or carcinogenic materials. Candidate may be required to wear common protective garments or equipment such as gloves, eye protection, face mask, gown or lab coat, etc. Cleans laboratory benches as required. Shares in general maintenance of laboratory including monitoring radioisotopes, aliquot reagents and preparation of common solutions.

Technical Assistance Apply scientific background to the application of laboratory techniques, using judgment, analysis and evaluation. Read literature and maintain detailed and well organized records of protocols. Master essential skills and techniques used in the laboratory. Proactively communicate results to direct supervisor and others. Assist in developing new and novel procedures for carrying out assigned research by reading literature and conferring with peers and superiors and then implementing these new procedures. Recordkeeping and data collection required on all experimental protocols performed. Prepares slides, graphs, tables and associated analytical work via photography, computer or manually. Communicate results to the principal investigator and share in group presentations of these data as well as promote ongoing projects in the laboratory. Assist with compilation of data for presentation or publication.

Other Duties as Assigned

Education: Bachelor's degree with major course works in one of the basic sciences.

Preferred Education: Master's Level Degree

Experience: Two years of experience in scientific or experimental research work. No experience required with preferred degree.

Preferred Experience: No experience with preferred degree.

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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