Principal Institute Research Scientist - In Vitro Pharmacology

University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Houston, Texas
Closing date
Jun 1, 2022

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Health Sciences
Organization Type

Within The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center lies a powerful engine driving the future of new targeted, immune- and cell-based therapies: the Therapeutics Discovery Division. Therapeutics Discovery eliminates the bottlenecks that hamper traditional drug discovery, with 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 Therapeutics Discovery Division is built around four platforms: The Institute for Applied Cancer Science (IACS), ORBIT (Oncology Research for Biologics and Immunotherapy Translation), TRACTION (Translational Research to Advance Therapeutics and Innovation in Oncology) and the Neurodegeneration Consortium.

The IACS platform is focused on discovering and developing the next generation of small-molecule targeted therapies, driven by the needs we see in our patients. The team aligns world-class drug discovery and development research with the science and clinical care for which MD Anderson is known. 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. This model already has achieved results, with multiple programs currently in clinical and late-stage preclinical development.

The Principal Institute Research Scientist in the in vitro pharmacology group of the Institute for Applied Cancer Science (IACS) participates in cross-functional research to implement suitable screening funnels to identify novel chemical starting points for IACS' drug discovery projects, and to support MedChem activities to optimize these into novel oncology therapeutic agents to benefit patients.

As part of the IACS team, the Principal Institute Research Scientist will provide in vitro Pharmacology leadership on drug discovery project teams by designing and conducting studies needed for the elucidation of SAR (structure-activity relationships) and the mechanism of action for novel small molecules. These efforts will allow us to advance novel therapeutics currently under development by our Therapeutics Discovery teams and partners.

By joining the Therapeutics Discovery Division, you have the opportunity to use your talents to make a direct impact on the lives of our patients. We are seeking a highly motivated and collaborative individual to become a part of our team. Ideal candidates will have experience with a wide variety of protein targets in a drug discovery setting and a demonstrated track record in the development and implementation of in vitro assays (cellular, biochemical, and biophysical) for compound screening using a variety of detection formats, including experience with 3D cellular formats and high content imaging.


1. Coordinate the application and development of cutting edge tools and methodologies to enable advancement of Institute projects through leadership and experimental activities. Analyze data generated by various studies and leverage results for the design of future studies.
2. Working closely with research teams, identify and recommend opportunities for scientific discovery and clinical therapeutic drug development.
3. Provide in vitro pharmacology leadership on multidisciplinary drug discovery teams.
4. Interact closely with cross-functional groups, including biology and medicinal chemistry, on discovery-based project teams.
5. Responsible for the design and execution of robust cellular, biochemical, and biophysical assays to support target validation, hit identification and confirmation, and lead optimization in small molecule drug discovery projects.
6. Responsible for the characterization of the mechanism of action of novel small molecules.
7. Monitor assay quality and troubleshoot issues with assay performance.
8. Contribute to project teams through lab-based activities.
9. Work with external groups to implement novel lead finding activities with collaborators as appropriate.
10. Transfer assays to collaborators as appropriate.
11. Provide leadership in enhancing the 3D cellular assay and high-content imaging capabilities of IACS for screening funnel purposes and mechanistic studies.
12. Supervise associate scientists.


Required: PhD in one of the natural sciences or related field or Medical degree.


Required: Five years experience of relevant research experience in lab.


Five years of relevant pharmaceutical experience . Cellular assay experience 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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