Research Assistant I - Immunology (Molecular Biology)

Houston, Texas
November 24 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.

Immunology Department


Tissue Culture
  • Maintains tissue culture cell lines, which requires good sterile technique and ability to use microscope.
  • Prepares sterile media and solutions.
  • Responsible of screening for affinity and specificity of the immunoglobulins/monoclonal antibodies using ELISA based experiments.
    • These antibodies will be ready for using by the Core users in their own in vitro/in vivo experiments.
  • Responsible of screening for affinity and specificity of the immunoglobulins/monoclonal antibodies using ELISA based experiments.
    • These antibodies will be delivered to Biotechnologies Companies, potentially licensing the products.
  • Responsible of screening for affinity and specificity of the immunoglobulins/monoclonal antibodies.
    • These antibodies will be delivered for Investigational Transfer Agreements with Pharma Companies that ultimately might license the antibodies for clinical development under agreements that benefit the whole Institution.
  • Tracking the purity of all the above mentioned antibodies by polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (PAGE), staining and registering results for records.
  • Manipulator of different mice strains, including not only BalbC, but different KO mice, C57 Bl6 and strains that serve as models for autoimmune diseases, allowing the mice to generate auto antibodies.
    • This particular mice strain is suitable for antibodies generation when the Knock out mice are not available.
  • Responsible of immunizing mice using different routes and techniques: subcutaneous and footpad.
  • Ascites generation and extraction: Intraperitoneal injection of hybridomas for ascites production and later collection of the ascites and submit for purification.
  • Responsible of collecting serum samples of immunized mice, to perform serum titration and verify immune response.

Molecular Biology
  • Perform RNA isolation, cDNA synthesis, PCR, DNA gel purification, ligation, transformation, bacteria colony PCR screening, plasmid purification.
  • Responsible for performing the transfection of plasmids into mammalian specific cells to produce recombinant antibodies.
  • Using molecular cloning techniques perform isotype exchanges, chimeric construction and generation of transient recombinant antibodies.
  • Preparation of plasmids for the sequencing of variable heavy and light regions from antibodies
  • Maintain notebooks and other records with clarity and completeness. Compiles, writes and submits project results to Lab. manager.

Lab Maintenance and Lab Animals
  • Maintains detailed written reports of experimental data and protocols, communicating results and/or potential problems with experiments to Lab Manager.
    • These reports are passible to be inspected and audited by the Companies that potentially will license the antibodies.
  • Responsible for maintenance of laboratory equipment and ensuring the equipment is in good operating order.
  • Understands correct operation of lab equipment.
  • Keeps instructions/operations manuals.
  • Works closely with Lab Operations Management to keep records of Alarm system for ultralow freezers and Liquid Nitrogen tanks.
  • Responsible of Self safety inspections of the laboratory.
  • Sign confidentiality agreements with Core users (in particular Companies) as required.
  • Assists the lab manager with ensuring compliance with federal/ MDACC safety requirements.
  • Successfully completes training and certification by the Department of Veterinary Medicine to handle and work with live animals, primarily. mice, in a safe and humane manner, following institutional guidelines for disposal of dead animals, biohazards and used needles.
  • Some protocols and immunization schedules require working on weekends/holidays.
  • Other duties as assigned


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


Required: None.

Preferred: Molecular Biology knowledge and must be willing to work with mice.

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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