Institute Associate Scientist III - Cell Pharmacology

University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Houston, Texas
Closing date
May 31, 2022

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Health Sciences
Organization Type
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.

MD Anderson is known for providing cancer patients with exceptional care, which includes early access to innovative new treatments through clinical trials. The Institute for Applied Cancer Science (IACS) is a new hybrid model that uniquely combines the drug discovery capabilities of the biopharmaceutical industry and the extensive knowledge of biology found in academia with the expertise of MD Anderson's top clinicians. IACS has the singular goal of rapidly developing novel, effective and safe therapeutics that improve patient health. IACS executes programs with the highest probability of clinical success in a rigorous, goal-oriented, data-driven manner.

The Associate III, Cell Pharmacology, will perform innovative research in the discovery and development of small molecule oncology drugs. He/She will be responsible for processing and the maintanance of cell and tissue cultures, and the execution of cell and tissue-based assays to advance IACS drug discovery programs. By working together with other members of the IACS Cell Pharmacology team, this individual will contribute to the development and implementation of state-of-the-art cell-based technologies to validate hypotheses, predict pharmacological responses to anti-cancer drugs, and understand drug mechanisms of action. These efforts will be used to fully characterize preclinical development candidates, and to support the translational development path for IACS assets.

1. Under minimal supervision, conduct laboratory experiments to develop and execute cell-based assays to support IACS' drug discovery programs, characterize drug mechanisms of action, and correlate cellular responses to pathway modulation.

2. Work closely with supervisor to develop and implement cellular systems (2D, 3D, multi-cellular) to validate hypotheses, predict response to anti-cancer drugs, and explore drug and immune therapy combinations.

3. Under minimal supervision, maintain cell lines and ex-vivo tumor culture systems for functional drug testing and therapy response prediction using tissue slices.

4. Demonstrate hands-on experience with tissue culture techniques, signal transduction methodologies, immunocytochemistry and immunohistochemistry (ICC/IHC) staining, Western-blot, ELISA, AlphaLisa technologies. Knowledge of tumor derived organoid maintenance, ex-vivo cultures of tumor slice (EVOC: ex-vivo organ culture), as well as other complex cellular systems technologies is a plus.

5. Under minimal supervision and working closely with supervisor, execute assays using multiple platforms, analyze data, monitor assay quality, troubleshoot, and release data to project team groups.

6. Assist team members to maintain the group's high productivity and mitigate risk.

7. Keep up with the scientific literature and actively participate in the project team meetings.

8. Employ safe lab practices.

9. Maintain a detailed and well-organized notebook.

10. Ensure data integrity and compliance under MD Anderson policies.

11. Employ safe lab practices.


1. Self-Motivation (Transitional): Set high standards of performance; pursue goals with energy and persistence; drive for results and achievement.
* Demonstrate a personal sense of urgency in getting results. Use personal and management standards to complete assignments.
* Seek to influence standards with proven business practices. Improve own performance by making specific changes in system or work methods.

2. Self-Adaptability (Transitional): Work in situations involving uncertainty, shifting priorities, and rapid change; deal constructively with mistakes and setbacks; demonstrate flexibility.
* Help coworkers with tasks as necessary. Smoothly handle multiple demands, shifting priorities and rapid change. Persist despite obstacles.
* Change own immediate behavior or approach to suit the situation. Remain open-minded and adjust approach on basis of new information.

3. Technical/Functional Expertise (Independent Contributor): Demonstrate technical proficiency required to do the job; possess up-to-date knowledge in the profession; provide technical expertise to others.
* Apply basic technical/functional knowledge to complete work. Meet essential position requirements.
* Seek experiences and knowledge in technical/functional areas to gain additional expertise. Troubleshoot systems/processes effectively.

4. Analytical Thinking (Transitional): Gather relevant information systematically; break down problems into simple components; make sound decisions.
* Identify relationships among a few parts of a problem. Scan own knowledge and experience base to determine potential solutions.
* See multiple relationships among several parts of a problem. Recognize likely causes of events or consequences of actions. Use data from multiple sources to support assumptions.

5. Team with Others (Independent Contributor): Encourage collaboration and input from all team members; value the contributions of all team members, and those beyond team; balance individual and team goals.
* Support and show respect to team members. Recognize how individual actions affect the team.
* Model team qualities, i.e. respect helpfulness and coping. Support team decisions once they are made and help to implement.

Working Conditions:

Office environment

This position requires:

Working in Office Environment


__X_ Yes

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

_X_ No

____ Yes

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


__ _ Yes

Exposure to harmful chemicals


___ Yes

Exposure to radiation

_X_ No

____ 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

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

Preferred: Master's degree in cancer biology, pharmacology or a related scientific discipline

Required: Three years of relevant research experience in lab. With preferred degree, one year of required experience.

Preferred: The ideal candidate will have a strong understanding of cell biology and signal transduction pathways with knowledge in the latest cell culture protocols and techniques. Demonstrated ability to work safely and aseptically in tissue culture rooms and cell pharmacology lab. Some understanding of the drug discovery process would be beneficial. Qualified individuals will be technically independent in tissue culture procedures, Western-blot, ELISA. Experience in immunocytochemistry and/or immunohistochemistry (ICC/IHC) staining, flow cytometry, Nanostring, qRT-PCR, AlphaLisa technologies is a plus. Demonstrated team-worker who possesses excellent problem solving capabilities and can work efficiently with minimal supervision.

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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