MD Anderson Cancer Center Research Assistant II - Clinical Cancer Prevention - Research in Houston, Texas

The Research Assistant II will perform various scientific experiments in accordance with general and/or specific plans under the supervision of the Principal Investigator. The Research Assistant II will also be responsible for providing support in maintaining general laboratory operations.

Conducts experiments and carries out research projects in various cancer biology, cell biology, biochemistry, pathology and related scientific fields. Constructs, assembles, and operates laboratory apparatus and equipment. Records and evaluates data in accordance with methods requested. Prepares experiment reports, writes research and review manuscripts based on obtained data and literature research.


1. Lab:

* Conducts experiments and carries out research projects using basic research techniques (e.g., culture, Western blots, bacteria handling).

* Constructs, assembles, operates, and maintains laboratory apparatus and equipment.

* Records and evaluates data in accordance with methods requested by Principal Investigator and senior laboratory members; Prepares Experimental Reports in a timely manner; Organizes hard copy and electronic versions of the Experimental Report, lab notebooks, and other original documents; Maintains a daily log book;

* General lab management such as ordering research supplies, autoclaving experimental equipment and samples, refilling liquid nitrogen tanks for cell lines, record keeping.

* Tissue Culture: Maintains and establishes cultures of cells which require rigorous sterile techniques. Must have the ability to observe and identify cell changes under the microscope, determine cell counts and cell viability. Prepares sterile media and solutions. Purify cells by various methods and monitor cells for proliferation and activation by standard laboratory methods. Monitors, orders and stocks tissue culture supplies to ensure efficient operations. Prepares cells for cryogenic storage. Requires using the microscope for prolonged periods, working for prolonged periods with hands extended under a flow hood and lifting cases (>50 lbs).

* Molecular Techniques: Requires performing Southern, Northern, and Western blots, polymerase chain reactions, cells transfections, and plasmid preparations. Should be able to maintain and operate sophisticated lab equipment such as high-speed centrifuges, pH meters, spectrometer, laminator, and fluorescent reader. Requires analysis of reagents by SDS-PAGE and agarose gels. All these analysis require standing for long periods of time, working with potentially hazardous substances, and movement around the lab to work with different equipment.

* Mouse Models: Requires significant prior experience in working with mouse models for cancer prevention and treatment experiments. Needs to generate xenograft tumor models and metastasis models by injecting cells via tail veins, hearts, and other organs.

* Immunohistochemistry and In Situ Hybridization: Requires handling surgical tissue specimens, both fresh and paraffin-embedded. Should be able to prepare slides using tissue specimens and perform immunostaining using appropriate antibodies. He/She should be able to utilize in situ hybridization techniques. Should be able to order appropriate reagents for experiments from commercial companies.

2. Laboratory Safety/Lab Equipment Maintenance:

  • Demonstrates and practices lab safety precautions. Receives verbal and/or written instructions from Principal Investigator on standards and specialized lab safety procedures. Attends all required safety courses. Handles, stores, and disposes of radioactive isotopes, chemically hazardous materials, and biohazardous materials in procedure specified to meet MDACC safety guidelines. Follows manufacturer's guidelines regarding the handling and maintenance of all lab equipment. Will have working knowledge of equipment and all operations and procedures manuals.

3. Record Keeping and Data Collection:

  • Maintains accurate, detailed records and experimental data and protocols. Prepares graphs, slides, and tables via photography, computer, or manually. Communicates results to and understands instructions from the Principal Investigator and colleagues. Fluent spoken and written English is essential. Discusses goals of each project with supervisor. Develops a step-by-step written procedure outlining the specific actions required to conduct the experiment before proceeding. Reads literature and confers with supervisor regarding new procedures and modifies them according to the needs of the project. Prepares manuscripts based on reliable, repeatable and publishable results obtained from research work. Prepare review manuscripts for publication.


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: Two years 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.

Additional Information

  • Employee Status: Regular

  • Minimum Salary: US Dollar (USD) 34,400

  • Midpoint Salary: US Dollar (USD) 43,000

  • Maximum Salary : US Dollar (USD) 51,600