Research Assistant II

Houston, Texas
October 18 2021
Health Sciences
Organization Type
Mission Statement

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 position is to perform technical assistance and coordination skills in carrying out various research projects in the department of GI Medical Oncology. Individual will perform assigned duties in the lab to maintain mice colonies, genotyping mice, process mouse tissue samples. In particular research projects will focus on understanding mechanisms of lipid signaling in promoting colon cancer using novel genetic mouse models. Projects will include the use of molecular biology and genetic techniques.

Core Values

Caring Behaviors
  • Courtesy: Is respectful and courteous to each other at all times
  • Friendliness/Teamwork: Promotes and rewards teamwork and inclusiveness; Is sensitive to the concerns of our patients and our co-workers

Integrity Behaviors
  • Reliability: Communicates frequently, honestly and openly
  • Accountability: Holds self and others accountable for practicing our values
  • Safety: Notices a safety concern and brings it to someone's attention; Models safe behaviors (wears badge, washes hands, keeps work area clean and orderly); Mitigates risk to the institution through sound business practices

Discovery Behaviors
  • Responsiveness: By his/her actions, creates an environment of trust; Encourages learning, creativity and new ideas
  • Personal Leadership/Self-Initiative: Helps others to identify and solve problems; Seeks personal growth and enables others to do so

Key Functions

  1. Experiments: Carries out experiments in various areas of molecular biology and genetics in the lab, such as extracting DNA and RNA, running gels and making buffers, handles tissue culture cells. Manages the mice colonies including breeding, cage management, weaning mice, and genotyping. Prepare biological specimens harvested from mouse and perform histological experiments including dissecting mice, fixing and embedding tissues.
  2. Tissue culture: Maintain numerous established cell lines using standard tissue culture techniques including; plating cells, determining cell counts and cell viability, transient and stable transfections, proliferation and functional assays, freezing cell lines properly to assure cell viability and aid in maintaining an organized cell repository.

  1. Record keeping: Maintain accurate, detailed records of experimental data and protocols in accordance with methods requested. This involves the use of computers to analyze, organize and plot data and for entry of data into databases.

  1. Communication: Must be able to understand and carry out instructions both verbal and written. Must be able to communicate results as well as any potential problems with experiments, in a clear and understandable manner to the supervisor and in lab meetings. Must be able to read articles and references and develop step-by-step written procedures to conduct experiments as well as communicate this information to the supervisor and other lab members.

  1. Safety: Must maintain a clean and orderly work place. Must have the ability and willingness to observe and comply with all institutional rules and OSHA regulations regarding biohazard and radiation safety. Must have a working knowledge in the proper handling of hazardous chemicals such as phenol, ethidium bromide, acrylamide, and formamide. Must have a basic understanding of and willingness to work with radioisotopes.

  1. General requirements: Must exhibit the following; a working knowledge of various laboratory equipment and apparatus, standard radiographic techniques and basic techniques for handling chemicals and accurately prepare media, solutions and reagents; an understanding of the basic scientific terminology and concepts central to cancer research; an ability to perform searches and retrieval of information both through the library and on line; a willingness to learn new techniques, to cooperate with other staff, students, fellows, visitors and collaborators, and to assist in other laboratory activities as needed.

Core Competencies

  • IC - Team with Others:
    • Encourage collaboration and input from all team members;
    • Value the contributions of all team members; and
    • Balance individual and team goals
  • IC - Self-Motivation:
    • Set high standards of performance;
    • Pursue goals with energy and persistence; and
    • Drive for results and achievement.
  • IC - Oral Communication:
    • Express ideas clearly and concisely in groups and one-to-one conversations; and
    • Create an environment with open channels of communication.


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

Preferred: Master's degree with major course work in one of the basic sciences.


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

Preferred: Three years of experience in scientific or experimental research work. Animal work and CRISPR experience are plus.

Working Conditions

This position requires:

Working in Office Environment

__X____ No

__ __Yes

Working in Patient Care Unit (e.g. Nursing unit; outpatient clinic)

_ X __ No

______ Yes

Exposure to human/animal blood, body fluids, or tissues

_ __ No

____X__ Yes

Exposure to harmful chemicals

_ __ No

_X_____ Yes

Exposure to radiation

_ X __ No

______ Yes

Exposure to animals

_ __ No

__X___ Yes

Physical Demands

Indicate the time required to do each of the following physical demands:

Time Spent














Up to 10 lbs

10lbs to 50 lbs

More than 50 lbs


Up to 10 lbs

10lbs to 50 lbs

More than 50 lbs

Use computer/keyboard

Bachelor's degree with major course works in one of the basic sciences. Two years experience in scientific or experimental research work. No experience required 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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