Senior Research Assistant - Epigenetics & Molecular Carcinogenesis (Ting Laboratory)

University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Houston, Texas
Closing date
Apr 1, 2023

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Health Sciences
Organization Type

Job Details

The Department of Epigenetics and Molecular Carcinogenesis is an interdisciplinary, basic science research department that conducts groundbreaking research aimed at defining the mechanisms controlling normal cell growth, proliferation, differentiation, and survival as well as mechanisms controlling genome maintenance to identify the aberrations in these processes that drive cancer.

Epigenetics and Molecular Carcinogenesis

Epigenetic gene regulation is important for both normal development and disease states. In cancers, aberrant promoter CpG island hypermethylation correlates highly with gene inactivation and can account for lack of gene expression where mutations do not exist. Dr. Ting is interested in dissecting the mechanisms of epigenetic gene silencing and understanding the functional relevance of DNA methylation in diseases. Dr. Ting's lab has three major focus areas:
  • Pioneering technical and computational tools for genome-wide DNA methylation assay. Dr. Ting developed MBD-isolated Genome Sequencing (MiGS), which is a cost-effective technique to survey whole genome DNA methylation patterns. The Ting lab also develops computational tools that facilitate sequencing data analyses and interpretation.
  • Defining novel and clinically relevant functions for DNA methylation. We have defined genome-wide abnormal DNA methylation patternsin colon, bladder, and prostate cancers. Knowing where these disruptions occur enabled us to generate and test hypotheses regarding the function of these changes. We investigate both gene promoters and non-promoter regions with the goal of defining context-specific functions of DNA methylation.
  • Delineating the mechanics of DNA methylation in cancer. Wide-spread disruptions to DNA methylation patterns are contribute to tumorigenesis and progression, but the regulatory mechanisms that establish, maintain, and modify these patterns are still being worked out. Researchers in Dr. Ting's lab explore the roles for epigenetic enzymes, small non-coding RNAs, and environmental exposures in the initiation and maintenance of abnormal DNA methylation patterns in cancer.


Research Support
  • Perform research or experimental tasks to supply information as part of a research project or laboratory.
  • Responsible for planning and executing details of an experiment, including set up, timing (scheduled, staffed, planned), coordination of supplies and equipment at hand, functionality of equipment, trained personnel.
  • Evaluate and interpret experimental results.
  • Assemble, operate and troubleshoot equipment.
  • Compile/prepare tables and charts.
  • Assist with preparation of grant applications and progress reports.

Expertise and Specialization
  • Apply background/experience in science, using independent evaluation, judgment and analysis.
  • Perform research or experimental tasks in a limited field (niche) or specialty area.
  • Master difficult, advanced, skills or technology.
  • Develop and revise protocols, procedures, and techniques.
  • Introduce/implement new technology.
  • Participate in troubleshooting and resolving problems.

Laboratory Organization
  • Supervise technicians and oversee their training.
  • May oversee educational appointees in their work and assist them as assigned or delegated.
  • Assess availability of supplies and advise/recommend purchasing as needed.
  • Contribute to the laboratory; assess need for back-up and cover as necessary; cross-train.
  • May have delegated signing authority on routine purchases.


Required: Bachelor's degree in one of the natural sciences or related field.

Preferred: Master's degree in one of the natural sciences or related field


Required: Three years of experience in scientific or experimental research work. With preferred degree, one year of required experience.

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.


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 2023 rankings. It is one of the nation's original three comprehensive cancer centers designated by the National Cancer Institute.

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