Research Assistant II - Immunology

Job Description

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.

Work in the department spans multiple components of the immune system, ranging from the innate immune response, by which the body recognizes defined components of common pathogens and initiates a response, to the specialized and highly regulated adaptive immune response, comprised of T cell and B cell responses. The combination of treatments that work on multiple aspects of the immune system maximizes the potential to eliminate the most treatment-resistant cancers.

Immunology Department


Primary Lab Functions

  • Managing animal colony including weaning and genotyping mice via PCR of DNA isolated from tail biopsies and breeding different genetically engineered strains of mice.
  • Responsible for organization of laboratory animals, including ordering and maintenance of up-to-date animal inventory using lab spreadsheets.
  • Responsible for ordering and maintaining laboratory supplies and keeping records of items ordered and received.
  • Planning and performing mouse experiments including tumor injections, antibody injections, monitoring of tumor growth, harvesting and purifying cell populations from different organs, etc.
  • Performs calculations including molarity, dilutions, cell viability and cell concentration.
  • Use of immunology assays including flow cytometry staining and analysis, ELISA, and ELISPOT.

Tissue Culture
  • Sterile maintenance and establishment of tissue culture cell lines and primary immune cells.
  • Determining cell counts and cell viability using microscope and hemocytometer.
  • Cryopreserves cell lines for cryogenic storage and subsequent re-establishment of cell lines.

Other Lab Responsibilities
  • Maintains detailed written reports of protocols and experimental data in lab notebook.
  • Helps to plan experiments and analyze, interpret and present data in group lab meetings.
  • Discusses objectives of lab projects and approach for attaining the goals with PI and other lab members.
  • Maintains safe and clean lab work area and monitors lab equipment for proper function and safety.
  • Coordinates repairs and services needed to maintain properly functioning equipment.
  • Prepares dry ice shipments to collaborators upon completion of institutional training for shipping biological material on dry ice.
  • Some protocols require work on weekends/holidays and time off must be coordinated with other lab members to ensure cell lines are maintained while away.
  • Perform duties under the direction of the principal investigator or designee.
  • This position necessitates working with other students, post-doctoral fellows, and staff members in scientific protocols currently used.
  • Workplace respect is an absolute must.
  • All lab members, office staff, other employees and visitors must be treated with respect.
  • Good communication skills, patience and good working knowledge of equipment and research aims are a necessity.
  • Good reading and comprehension skills are a necessity in understanding scientific articles and journals related to experiments being conducted.
  • Attendance and participation at work related seminars and/or meetings are required.
  • Assist in training new lab members as you become familiar with general lab activities and the lab's research aim.
  • Perform all duties listed and other duties as assigned.


Required: Bachelor'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.

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