Institute Associate Scientist II - Disease Biology

University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Houston, Texas
Closing date
Feb 10, 2023

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Health Sciences
Organization Type
The Institute Associate Scientist II participates in cross-functional research to identify and validate novel biomarkers and patient responder hypotheses, and translate these findings into novel oncology therapeutic agents to benefit patients.


1. Under moderate supervision perform tissue culture techniques to establish ex vivo oncology model systems from patient derived samples (e.g. organoids in matrigel).
2. Utilize common molecular and cell biology skills including immunohistochemistry/immunofluorescence, RNAscope, single cell sequencing, etc., to characterize and biobank models.
3. In collaboration with project teams, utilize genetic and pharmacologic tools and ex vivo systems to define mechanism of biology and discover/validate biomarkers that will be used to stratify patients for clinical testing of therapeutics.
4. Interact with computational biologists, program biologists, in vivo pharmacologists, pharmacokinetic scientists, and disease expert pathologists to establish dose-response-efficacy relationships, inform on tumor biology, and evaluate combinations to inform on future clinical studies.
5. Effectively communicate program progress/issues to colleagues and contribute to project success.
6. Under minimal supervision, design, execute, document and interpret experiments.
7. Analyze, prepare, and present data in project team and other internal meetings as needed.
8. Employ safe lab practices.


1. Self Motivation (Independent Contributor): Set high standards of performance; pursue goals with energy and persistence; drive for results and achievement.
* Use standards set by management. Take ownership for actions. Continually meet department goals.
* Demonstrate a personal sense of urgency in getting results. Use personal and management standards to complete assignments.

2. 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.

3. Analytical Thinking (Independent Contributor): Gather relevant information systematically; break down problems into simple components; make sound decisions.
* Recognize simple cause and effect relationships. Diagnose problems by breaking them down into simple tasks or activities.
* Identify relationships among a few parts of a problem. Scan own knowledge and experience base to determine potential solutions.

4. 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

Laboratory 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


__X_ Yes

Exposure to harmful chemicals


__X_ 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 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.


A minimum of 18 months of industry-like experience.

1. Experience with problem solving and developing new technologies (or applying existing technologies) to biological questions.
2. The applicant should have a basic understanding of biological principles, and some experience in microscopy/imaging/flow-based methods and data analysis with either open source or vendor-specific programs.
3. Experience validating novel biomarkers and developing techniques, methods, and software.
4. Experience with advanced data analysis at both a computer station and a lab bench are highly desired.
5. Experience troubleshooting new technologies is highly desired.
6. Having a working knowledge of oncology disease processes and preclinical models is preferred but not required.
7. The position requires an 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.
8. Experience independently designing and interpreting experimental results is expected, and demonstrated ability for critical thinking and problem solving is a must.
9. Ability to work well under pressure and drive personal and team objectives that impact critical timelines is expected.
10. 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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