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Institute Associate Scientist II - Translational Biology

University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Houston, Texas
Closing date
Jun 21, 2022

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Health Sciences
Organization Type
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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 TRACTION platform is an industrialized translational research unit that aligns world-class drug discovery and development with highly innovative science and clinical care research. Through an investment in patient-centric research, we have developed the infrastructure, platforms, and capabilities to enable transformative research, partnering with leading clinical research scientists and physicians for which MD Anderson is known. TRACTION's approach combines large scale data science, innovative cancer genetics, disruptive technologies, deep mechanistic biology, disease modeling, and pharmacology to accelerate the translation of novel discoveries.

As part of our mission, TRACTION is focused on partnering with our internal drug discovery engine (IACS, ORBIT, Biologics Development and Cell Therapies) and a growing list of external Partners (Boehringer Ingelheim, Taiho, Blueprint Medicines, Schrödinger and Obsidian) to discover and develop the next generation of small-molecule targeted therapies, antibody therapeutics and cell therapies, all driven by the needs we see in our patients.

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.

We are currently seeking a highly motivated and talented Associate Scientist II to join our Translational Biology team. The Associate Scientist II participates in cross-functional research to identify and validate novel biomarkers and patient responder hypotheses, enable disease modeling and translate these findings into testable clinical hypotheses in support of the development of novel oncology therapeutic agents designed to benefit patients.

The Associate Scientist II will join our multi-functional translational team that is focused on positioning our portfolio of advanced oncology small molecule, antibody and cell based therapeutics for clinical success. The ideal candidate will do this by applying the most innovative molecular and cell biology techniques to state-of-the-art patient derived preclinical models, leading to the identification of combinations, informative biomarkers that enable patient selection and the biology of response/resistance.

By joining the TRACTION and the Therapeutics Discovery Division, you have the opportunity to use your talents to make a direct impact on the lives of our patients. Join us, and lead our next program from concept to clinic.

1. Under moderate supervision contribute to project team activities by performing laboratory experiments.
2. Utilize common molecular and cell biology skills including protein and RNA based methods.
3. Perform tissue culture techniques to develop disease models, biomarkers and test therapeutics.
4. Utilize genetic and pharmacologic tools to inform on biology that aids clinical development of therapeutics.
5. Implement novel protein and RNA-based technologies to support translational biomarker activities.
6. Perform analysis of in vivo samples for assessment of pharmacodynamic and response biomarkers.
7. Participate on cross-functional project teams to communicate program progress/issues to colleagues.
8. Under minimal supervision, design, execute, document and interpret experiments.
9. Analyze, prepare, and present data in project team and other internal meetings as needed.
10. Employ safe lab practices.

Required: Bachelor's degree in Biology, Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Cell Biology, Enzymology, Pharmacology, Chemistry or related field.

Preferred: Master's degree in Biology, Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Cell Biology, Enzymology, Pharmacology, Chemistry or related field.

Required: One year of relevant research experience in lab. With preferred degree, no required experience.

1. Experience working with cell-based assays (i.e. viability assay, colony formation, flow cytometry, ELISA, etc.).
2. Experience with advanced cell culture techniques and cell-based models (i.e. 2D/3D cell culture, organoids model development from tumor or PDX tissues, etc.) utilizing common methods and reagents (i.e. gene overexpression, RNAi/CRISPR, dose response phenotypic analysis with small molecule inhibitors and biologics, western blots, etc.).
3. Experience with tissue staining (i.e. IHC, IF, FISH-IF, etc.) and image analysis to assess pharmacodynamic and response biomarkers.
4. Experience identifying and validating biomarkers to develop responder ID hypotheses.
5. Experience with genetic (i.e. RNAi and CRISPR) and pharmacological (i.e. small molecule inhibitors or biologics) approaches to study mechanisms of response and resistance, utilizing state of the art molecular biology and biochemistry methods and assays essential to drive projects.
6. Strong data analysis skills, ability to interpret results and contribute to the design of follow-up experiments, and troubleshooting issues with assay performance are expected.
7. Having a working knowledge of oncology disease processes and preclinical models.
8. Accomplished, highly self-motivated individual with outstanding communication and organizational skills, and the ability to effectively present results and conclusions to co-workers, collaborators, and managers.
9. Experience designing and interpreting experimental results is expected, and demonstrated ability for critical thinking and problem solving is a must.
10. Ability to work well under pressure and drive personal and team objectives that impact critical timelines is expected.
11. A collaborative attitude is essential for this position.

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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