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MD Anderson Cancer Center Institute Associate Scientist II - Translational Biology in Houston, Texas


Within The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center lies a powerful engine driving the future of new targeted, immune- and cell-based therapies: the Therapeutics Discovery Division. Therapeutics Discovery eliminates the bottlenecks that hamper traditional drug discovery, with a multidisciplinary team of dedicated researchers, doctors, drug developers and scientific experts working together to develop small-molecule drugs, biologics and cellular therapies. Our unique structure and collaborative approach allow the team to work with agility, bringing novel medicines from concept to clinic quickly and efficiently - all under the same roof.

The Therapeutics Discovery Division is built around four platforms: The Institute for Applied Cancer Science (IACS), ORBIT (Oncology Research for Biologics and Immunotherapy Translation), TRACTION (Translational Research to Advance Therapeutics and Innovation in Oncology) and the Neurodegeneration Consortium.

The TRACTION platform is an industrialized translational research unit that aligns world-class drug discovery and development with highly innovative science and clinical care research. Through an investment in patient-centric research, we have developed the infrastructure, platforms, and capabilities to enable transformative research, partnering with leading clinical research scientists and physicians for which MD Anderson is known. TRACTION's approach combines large scale data science, innovative cancer genetics, disruptive technologies, deep mechanistic biology, disease modeling, and pharmacology to accelerate the translation of novel discoveries.

As part of our mission, TRACTION is focused on partnering with our internal drug discovery engine (IACS, ORBIT, Biologics Development and Cell Therapies) and a growing list of external Partners (Boehringer Ingelheim, Taiho, Blueprint Medicines, Schrödinger and Obsidian) to discover and develop the next generation of small-molecule targeted therapies, antibody therapeutics and cell therapies, all driven by the needs we see in our patients.

We work in a fast-paced, milestone-driven environment with a focus on team science and interdisciplinary research. Our unique approach has created a biotech-like engine within the walls of the nation's leading cancer center to bring life-saving medicines to our patients more quickly and effectively. This model already has achieved results, with multiple programs currently in clinical and late-stage preclinical development.


The Institute Associate Scientist II will report to the disease modeling lead and work closely with multiple groups across TRACTION, MD Anderson and external groups to acquire, curate, characterize, and develop disease models and support the development of novel oncology therapeutic agents to benefit patients.


1.Under moderate supervision, conduct laboratory experiments to support translational biology programs and characterize tumor models to advance therapeutics into clinical development.

2.Assist with acquisition, collection and processing of fresh tissue from preclinical models and patient samples for molecular characterization, histopathology, ex vivo cell culture, in vivo implantation and/or flow cytometry analysis.

3.Assist with tumor model characterization including performing established routine histology assays such as H&E, IHC, multiplex IF, and other special stains as required by various platforms.

4.Under minimal supervision, performs image/data acquisition and analysis of histology assays.

5.Performs general laboratory duties including tissue processing, reagent preparation and archiving tissues, and assisting with maintaining the tissue specimen bank and databases.

6.Under moderate supervision, assist with the development and implementation of novel histology assays and established protein, DNA and RNA-based technologies on in vivo and ex vivo samples to support translational biomarker activities and to advance disease model characterization.

7.Reports findings to supervisor for collaboration with cross-functional project teams to communicate model information to colleagues.

8.Under minimal supervision design, execute, document and interpret experiments.

9.Analyze, prepare, and present data in project team and other internal meetings as needed.

10.Employ safe lab practices.


1.Self-Motivation (Independent Contributor): Set high standards of performance; pursue goals with energy and persistence; drive for results and achievement.

Use standards set by management. Take ownership for actions. Continually meet department goals.

Demonstrate a personal sense of urgency in getting results. Use personal and management standards to complete assignments.

  1. Technical/Functional Expertise (Independent Contributor): Demonstrate technical proficiency required to do the job; possess up-to-date knowledge in the profession; provide technical expertise to others.

Apply basic technical/functional knowledge to complete work. Meet essential position requirements.

Seek experiences and knowledge in technical/functional areas to gain additional expertise.

Troubleshoot systems/processes effectively.

3.Analytical Thinking (Independent Contributor): Gather relevant information systematically; break down problems into simple components; make sound decisions.

Recognize simple cause and effect relationships. Diagnose problems by breaking them down into simple tasks or activities.

Identify relationships among a few parts of a problem. Scan own knowledge and experience base to determine potential solutions.

4.Team with Others (Independent Contributor): Encourage collaboration and input from all team members; value the contributions of all team members, and those beyond team; balance individual and team goals.

Support and show respect to team members. Recognize how individual actions affect the team.

Model team qualities, i.e. respect helpfulness and coping. Support team decisions once they are made and help to implement.


Required: Bachelor's degree in Biology, Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Cell Biology, Enzymology, Pharmacology, Chemistry or related field.

Preferred: Master's degree in Biology, Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Cell Biology, Enzymology, Pharmacology, Chemistry or related field.


Required: One year of relevant research experience in lab. With preferred degree, no required experience.


  1. Experience with histopathology assays (i.e. immunohistochemistry, chromogenic and fluorescent in situ hybridization, multiplex immunofluorescence, H&E and trichrome stains).

  2. Experience identifying and validating biomarkers to develop responder ID hypotheses.

  3. Experience with mouse tissue collection/processing as well as human patient tissue processing.

  4. Strong data analysis skills, ability to interpret results and contribute to the design of follow-up experiments, and troubleshooting issues with assay performance are expected.

  5. Having a working knowledge of oncology disease processes and preclinical models.

  6. Experience with basic molecular and cell biology assays is a plus.

  7. Experience with computational analysis software or database software to facilitate data analysis and curation is a plus.

  8. Willingness to learn and master novel techniques and technologies through collaborations with team members and cross-functional groups to advance research projects is essential.

  9. Accomplished, highly self-motivated individual with outstanding communication and organizational skills, and the ability to effectively present results and conclusions to co-workers, collaborators, and managers.

  10. Experience designing and interpreting experimental results is expected, and demonstrated ability for critical thinking and problem solving is a must.

  11. Ability to work well under pressure and drive personal and team objectives that impact critical timelines is expected.

  12. A collaborative attitude is essential for this position.

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

  • Requisition ID: 166583

  • Employment Status: Full-Time

  • Employee Status: Regular

  • Work Week: Days

  • Minimum Salary: US Dollar (USD) 64,875

  • Midpoint Salary: US Dollar (USD) 82,500

  • Maximum Salary : US Dollar (USD) 97,400

  • FLSA: exempt and not eligible for overtime pay

  • Fund Type: Soft

  • Work Location: Onsite

  • Pivotal Position: Yes

  • Referral Bonus Available?: Yes

  • Relocation Assistance Available?: Yes

  • Science Jobs: Yes