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Research Assistant II - Leukemia

University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Houston, Texas
Closing date
May 25, 2022

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Health Sciences
Organization Type
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The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston is one of the world's most respected centers focused on cancer patient care, research, education and prevention. It was named the nation's No. 1 hospital for cancer care in U.S. News & World Report's 2018 rankings. It is one of the nation's original three comprehensive cancer centers designated by the National Cancer Institute.

MD Anderson Cancer Center is a global leader in the treatment of blood cancers. The Leukemia department is one of the most successful disease-specific cancer programs in the world, as well as one of the largest. As the largest medical academic department within the Cancer Medicine division, we have 29 clinical faculty and 20 research faculty. We have approximately 450 employees in the academic department, another 120 outpatient center employees and 150 inpatient employees all of whom support the leukemia research program. Our program sees over 2,000 new patients and 50,000 outpatient encounters each year, while maintaining an inpatient census over 120 patients per day. We have a special Fast Track Clinic for leukemia outpatients, to take care of treatment needs that don't require hospitalization.


Molecular Techniques/Tissue Cultures/Other Lab Procedures
  • The basic and translational research focus of this laboratory includes epigenetic mechanisms involving histone deacetylases, methyltransferases and demethylases, heat shock proteins and their cancer and leukemia-relevant client proteins, as well as transfection and functional analyses of genes regulating cell death/survival of human cancer cells. Experience in animal studies involving NOD/SCID or nude mice, and mouse imaging (xenogen and MRI) is highly desirable. Experience in molecular techniques involving plasmid DNA preparations and transfection, the analysis of gene expression including QPCR, microarrays, chromatin immunoprecipitation, evaluation of protein biochemistry with 2D gels, animal models, the yeast-two-hybrid system, confocal microscopy and tissue culture are also preferred.
  • Organizes and performs routine procedures involving molecular biology and biochemistry of RNA processing. Requires experience in tissue culture, DNA & RNA preparation, PCR, DNA cloning, protein synthesis and electrophoresis.
  • Responsible for providing laboratory services, tissue culture, processing research samples, and/or cataloging samples as required. Interacts with the principal investigators, postdoctoral fellows and other research personnel in communicating experimental design and results.
  • Requires knowledge of standard radiographic techniques. Dark room usage is essential as is use and proper handling of radioisotopes.
  • Work with laboratory animals such as mice and rats and to perform interventional procedures such as tail vein injections and orthotopic implantations. Retrieves, maintains, and catalogs specimen stocks from outside reference laboratories. Assists in other laboratory activities as needed.

Research Procedures
  • Performs quality research in relation to current research projects, and other identified needs. Interprets results of experiments and makes necessary changes in procedures when needed. Compiles data sheets.
  • Conducts Library Work. Finds and copies journal articles as required. Reads and understands articles related to ongoing research. Maintains references in a manual filing system. Requires good reading and comprehension skills as well as diligence, patience and ability to carry several heavy books at a time.
  • Assemble samples, reagents, dry or wet ice, data and packaging materials; draft a cover letter, accurately and legibly fill out shipping labels; carry package to receiving area on ground floor prior to pick up. Keep accurate legible logs of outgoing and incoming packages. For incoming packages, ascertain contents, store at appropriate location, file information sheets and notify principal investigator. Update pertinent inventory logs.
  • Performs and coordinates scientific experiments in a collaborative effort with other technicians, postdoctoral fellows, and staff members. Monitors workflow as it pertains to the need for supplies, equipment maintenance and stock solutions.

Equipment Monitoring/Maintenance/Safety
  • Equipment monitoring daily verifying correct temperatures of freezers, refrigerators, incubators, etc. Equipment maintenance on a weekly basis includes cleaning and disinfecting refrigerators and incubators. Daily counter cleans up and disinfection to ensure safety of the laboratory workplace. Bags waste and transports to appropriate refuse area utilizing safety standards and guidelines. Maintains all safety precautions. Performs preventive maintenance on laboratory equipment.
  • Must be able to comply with all institutional safety policies including Universal Precautions and OSHA standards when handling toxic, hazardous, flammable, or potentially infectious or carcinogenic materials. This may require wearing common protective garments or equipment such as gloves, eye protection, face mask, gown or lab coat, etc. Additionally, some procedures may require the use of a fume hood or biological safety cabinet.


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

Preferred: Master's degreewith major course works in one of the basic sciences.


Required: Two year's 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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