Title:  Research Assistant II - PDX Researcher

Division:  Breast Center
Schedule:  Monday - Friday, 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Work Location:  Houston, TX
Salary Range:  $41,601 - $57,410
FLSA Status:  Exempt
Requisition ID:  8966


The Ellis laboratory is a dedicated translational oncology research program, rich with individual expertise and collaborative studies, which focuses on generating new and optimizing current treatment strategies for patients across the breast cancer spectrum. In order to develop precision diagnostics, the Ellis lab is interested in delineating mechanisms of resistance to standard-of-care therapeutics and metastasis for each breast tumor subtype. Ongoing studies are investigating the underlying mechanisms and therapeutic strategies to treat ESR1 (gene encoding estrogen receptor alpha) mutations and translocations, NF1 loss, DNA damage repair defects, and HER2 mutations. In addition to utilizing standard in vitro and in vivo xenograft animal models, research data is complemented through the use of cutting-edge patient-derived “Washington Human in Mouse” (WHIM) xenograft models (Li et al., Cell Rep., 2013). These WHIM models enables us to have experimental models at the bench that link clinical responses seen in patients, allow more accurate studies on breast cancer mechanisms, and identify new drug treatments.
The Ellis laboratory also engages in frontier-level approaches that integrate big data science (“omics”) to gain a better overall understanding of how genetic aberrations in breast cancer cells influence disease characteristics and therapeutic response. The journey from gene to gene expression to protein expression to protein activation is an extremely complex process under precise regulatory control. Our pioneering collaborative studies have revealed a more complete “picture” of how gene copy number aberrations affects protein activation through the use of combinatorial “omics” analyses (Mertins et al., Nature, 2016). Such proteogenomic (linking proteins and genes) analysis continues to be of intense interest. We are now extending this approach to our patient-derived xenograft models, thereby, supporting the development of tailored therapeutic approaches.

Job Duties

  • Prepares and conducts laboratory research experiments.
  • Conducts literature searches and summarizes information in an appropriate format for a particular study.
  • Responsible for inventory and ordering of consumables and supplies, waste disposal, management of MSDS and chemical inventory: management of instruments and shared facilities.
  • Selects, evaluates and applies techniques used in routine research.
  • Oversees & conducts preclinical, in-vivo experimental studies involving breast cancer patient derived xenografts. (PDXs) 
    • IACUC certified Training Ambassador for animal surgeries in the lab. 
    • Rains lab personnel in mice surgical procedures & other techniques.
    • Executes drug efficacy studies in vivo involving small/large molecule cancer therapeutics dosed in numerous breast cancer PDX mice models and other mice strains for various projects.
    • Coordinates the activities of personnel engaged in research and in vivo experimental testing.
  • Assists members of the laboratory by managing tissue availability for Proteogenomic analysis.
  • Produces weekly reports for Principal Investigators and laboratory members about status of all current
    in-vivo PDX experimental and non-experimental models.

Minimum Qualifications

  • Bachelor's degree in a Basic Science or a related field. 
  • Three years of relevant experience.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Master's degree in a related field.
  • Must have strong skills with handling animal models including performing/maintaining therapeutic experiments using PDX models as well as the implementation of the new PDX tumor cell line bank.
  • Cancer research preferred.





Baylor College of Medicine is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action/Equal Access Employer.