Research Assistant II - Immunology (Tissue Culture)

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

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Health Sciences
Organization Type

Job Details

The Immunology department at MD Anderson Cancer Center seeks to determine the fundamental cellular and molecular mechanisms of a wide range of processes by which the body recognizes and eliminates pathogens and use these findings to unleash the patient's own immune system against previously treatment-resistant cancers. Treating the immune system rather than the cancer itself, the therapeutics developed are applicable to many cancers.



Tissue Culture
  • Maintains and establishes tissue culture cell lines, which requires
    good sterile technique and ability to determine cell counts and cell viability using microscope and hemocytometer.
  • Monitors, orders, and shelves tissue culture supplies.
  • Establishes short-term cell cultures using human or mouse tissues.
  • Some protocols require work on weekends/holidays and time away must be coordinated with other staff to ensure cell lines are maintained.

Lab Functions
  • Successfully completes training and certification by the Department of Veterinary Medicine to handle and work with live animals, primarily mice, in a safe and humane manner, following institutional guidelines for disposal of dead animals, biohazards and used needles.
  • Performs basic level experiments in immunological research, including in vivo (assays of tumor growth and treatments) and in vitro measurements of immune function (T cell proliferation, cytokine measurement, phenotyping assays etc.) by using techniques like ELISA, flow cytometry, mass cytometry, RT-PCR, multiplexed histology etc.).
  • Perform basic molecular biology techniques, RNA isolation, RT-PCR and functional genomics assays like scRNA-sequencing, CRISPR/RNAi screens, or willingness to learn these techniques.
  • Setting up breeding cages, transferring cages between rooms, ear tagging and tail snipping, and updating lab, breeding and genotyping records.
  • Requires the ability to calculate molarity and accurately prepare media solutions and reagents.
  • Uses acids and polyacrylamide solutions, flammable materials and other biohazards according to OSHA and institutional safety policies.
  • With proper guidance, discusses goals of projects and strategy for attaining the goals with supervisor in clear and concise manner.
  • Ensures safe and efficient functioning of the lab and pleasant work environment for self and others.
  • Requires willingness to learn techniques for handling chemicals and use of different instruments and data analysis software programs in the laboratory.
  • Some experiments require work on weekends/holidays and time away must be coordinated with other staff to ensure experiments are not interrupted.

Lab Maintenance
  • Responsible for maintaining laboratory animals and maintaining
    up-to-date animal inventory.
  • Maintains detailed written reports of experimental data and protocols.
  • Maintains lab work area and lab equipment, monitoring it daily to ensure the lab operates safely, is clean, and all equipment is in good working order; understands correct operation of all lab equipment, and follows written instructions/operations manuals.
  • Other duties as assigned.


Required: Bachelor's degree with major course works in one of the basic sciences.

Preferred: Master's degree with major course works in one of the basic sciences.


Required: One year experience in scientific or experimental research work. No experience required with preferred degree.

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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