Senior Research Assistant - Molecular & Cellular Oncology

University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Houston, Texas
Closing date
Apr 6, 2023

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Health Sciences
Organization Type

Job Details

The Department of Molecular and Cellular Oncology (MCO) mission is to enable and apply basic research excellence to contribute to ending cancer significantly. The department's oncology-driven research focuses on fundamental mechanistic discoveries and their translation to humans. As a basic science department at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, MCO strives to enhance basic research excellence by establishing a robust research group focused on the molecular and cellular aspects of cancer research, particularly in signaling pathways and crosstalk between tumor and tumor microenvironment in tumor initiation, progression and metastasis, and resistance to various therapies. MCO hosts MD Anderson's Functional Genomics Core with the support of the Cancer Center Supporting Grant (CCSG). In addition, MCO faculty are core members of the Cancer Biology and Metastasis Program of CCSG, rated "exceptional" in the last competing renewal.

Molecular & Cellular Oncology


Conduct Research Experiments and Projects
  • Discusses goals of each project with PI; develops a step-by-step written procedure outlining the specific actions required to conduct the experiment before proceeding.
  • Conduct research projects and have the ability to design experiments in liver studies independently with minimal oversight and work collaboratively.
  • Assist in coordinating the Beretta lab translational studies.
  • Ability to work on several research projects concurrently in an independent manner.
  • Help address any issue(s) which may cause delay in progress.
  • Prepare and update protocols.
  • Accurately maintain databases/inventory and relevant data.
  • Utilize equipment needed for experiments.
  • Perform administrative tasks such as tracking study progress, including but not limited to, summary for Progress Reports, meeting agendas and minutes/action items.
  • Compile research data and submit results to for inclusion in publications, grants or protocols.

Maintain Biospecimen and Related Databank
  • Prepare and update protocols.
  • Process blood from collaborating sites, perform biospecimen assays.
  • Maintain accurate database of biospecimen and up-to-date Freezer inventory records, relevant experimental data, and biomarker assay results
  • Ensure multi-center study maintains compliance with human subject regulations including but not limited to IRB, and GDS.
  • Utilizes equipment needed for experiments.
  • Perform administrative tasks for overseeing biospecimen collection, processing and databank maintenance.

Lab Safety and Equipment Maintenance
  • Provide oversight of lab safety procedures.
  • Ensure equipment is functioning properly and safely.
  • Ensure that lab safety records, chemical and biospecimen inventory records are current.

Coordinate Collaborative Efforts of the Laboratory
  • Participate in the design, implementation and evaluation of collaborative research studies and projects stages.
    • Analyzing data.
    • Creating publication quality figures summarizing data.
    • Assisting with manuscript and grant preparation.
    • Maintaining a legible and self-explanatory scientific notebook.
    • Discuss and present findings in lab meetings.
  • Prepare final reports, assist with scientific manuscripts to promote ongoing research projects, submit to PI for publications, grants or protocols.
  • Show willingness to learn and help others implement new techniques.
  • Perform administrative tasks for overseeing equipment maintenance and repair.
  • Train staff and students/trainees in lab procedures and the use of equipment.

Provide Research Support
  • Performs experiments in molecular biology which include but not limited to isolating DNA/RNA, performing PCR/QPCR, immunostaining and ELISA.
  • Cross-train to be able to prove back-up for translational research projects which may include processing of blood samples received from collaborating sites, data entry related to sample and biomarker assays.
  • Reads literature and confers with PI regarding new procedures and modifies according to the needs of the study.
  • Prepare and update protocols as needed, to support lab projects.
  • Maintain database of bio-specimens and relevant data, generated within the Beretta lab.
  • Keeps accurate records of experimental design and results, and accurate data analysis.


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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