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Research Assistant I - Cancer Biology

University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Houston, Texas
Closing date
Nov 4, 2022

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Health Sciences
Organization Type
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Welcome to MD Anderson's Cancer Biology department. Our department has a long history of being a leader in the field of basic and translational cancer biology research. The department emphasizes the training of students, postdoctoral fellows and clinical fellows in the fundamentals of tumor biology to improve the outcomes of patients with malignancies. The department has built a program with close ties to many clinical departments to facilitate information exchange between the laboratory and the clinic. As such, faculty in the department are investigators on NIH funded collaborative cancer biology research grants ["Specialized Programs of Research Excellence". In addition, there are several physician-scientists who have joint appointments in Cancer Biology, facilitating the exchange of clinically-relevant information between the laboratory and the clinic.

The primary purpose of the Research Assistant I position is to carry out specific experiments designed to improve the functional understanding of processes involved in pancreatitis and in early and late pancreatic carcinogenesis. This may include the implementation of protocols as they relate to specimens obtained from human pancreatic cancer patients and genetically engineered mouse models (cell lines, tissues), isolation of 2D, 3D/organoid cell lines, functional in vitro and in vivo assays.

Key Functions

Laboratory Technical Function
  • Maintains pancreatic cancer cell lines using sterile technique. Extract protein lysates, DNA and RNA from cells.
  • Performs a broad range of cell and molecular assays involving molecular biology and biochemistry of DNA, RNA and protein, including: IHC, immunofluorescence, western blot, flow cytometry and real time qPCR.
  • Perform validation, optimization, and troubleshooting of real time qPCR protocols as they relate to DNA and RNA analysis from human and mouse samples.
  • Perform optimization, and troubleshooting of single- and multiplex (OPAL) IHC, IF stainings and western blots.
  • Perform isolation, culturing and downstream in vitro assays of primary cell originating from different cellular compartments of the mouse and human pancreas including: acini isolation, 2D cell cultures, organoid cultures.
  • Perform optimization and troubleshooting of functional assays including: MTT, Incucyte assays, drug screening.

Mouse Colony Management
  • Oversee genetically engineered mouse colonies, mouse breeding schemes, genotyping, observation of in vivo drug studies, obtaining mouse specimens.
  • Assumes shared responsibility for performing mouse genotyping

Laboratory Maintenance
  • Assumes shared responsibility for general laboratory maintenance by:
    • maintaining procedures and protocols that ensure the quality and integrity of procedures performed
    • monitoring work flow as it pertains to the need for supplies, equipment maintenance and preparation of stock solutions
    • keeping ample stock of supplies on hand
    • following up on orders to ensure organization and accessibility of all reagents.
  • Maintains an excellent working knowledge of all basic laboratory equipment and apparatus.
  • Maintains Lab Functions to include ordering of supplies and ensures lab equipment is maintained in good operating order.
  • Other duties as assigned.


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


Required: No experience.

Preferred 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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