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

The primary purpose of the Research Assistant I position is to provide sophisticated and technical laboratory work in research related projects. Impacts research performance in specific department.


1. Laboratory Safety & Lab Management

• 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 MDA 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. Performs lab safety inspections and maintains updates and records of test.

• Lab ordering: Maintain inventory with ordering, pricing and provide regular status updates

• 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. Collects and organizes data for project reports. Maintains DNA sample organization.

•Instructs PIs new employees and other laboratory personnel as needed with regard to techniques and equipment.

2. Basic Cellular & Molecular Biology Techniques

• Immunohistochemistry: 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. Should be able to order appropriate reagents for experiments from commercial companies.

• Perform of immunological assays

• 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 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 and vacuum pumps.

3. Animal Care

• Maintains colonies and breeding active.

• Process animal biological samples by labeling and archiving on a daily basis.

• Tag and tailing plus genotyping of complex triple/quadruple transgenic mice.

• Performs DNA/RNA extraction and amplification.

  1. Other duties as assigned.

Service Orientation

Provide service to our stakeholders, including patients, caregivers, colleagues and each other, in a safe, courteous, accountable, efficient and innovative manner to include:

  • Promoting inclusiveness and collegiality that demonstrates respect and professionalism to our stakeholders at all times

  • Modeling safe, ethical behavior that mitigates risk to the institution through sound business practices, and adherence to MD Anderson's Standards of Conduct, institutional policies and procedures

  • Responding to requests in a timely manner while proactively communicating expectations for procedures, service arrival, or project deliverables to stakeholders

  • Using the steps to HEAL (Hear, Empathize, Address and Learn) the relationship when service recovery is needed


Required: Bachelor's degree, major course work in one of the basic sciences.


Required: No experience.

Preferred: Experience working in a lab.

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) 30,400

  • Midpoint Salary: US Dollar (USD) 38,000

  • Maximum Salary : US Dollar (USD) 45,600