Research Assistant I or II in RNA molecular biology and RNA Therapeutics in the Center for RNA Therapeutics at the Houston Methodist Research Institute

Posted on April 19,

The Research Assistant I or II uses skills to provide technical research laboratory support in performing research experiments.  Maintains records of data collected.  Assists in the organization, tabulation and analysis of data under the general supervision of the laboratory manager or Principal Investigator. 

The Kiss RNA Lab is an externally-funded (existing support from NIH, CPRIT, and AHA & past support from the ASGCT) working on both basic science and translational research projects in the fields of RNA molecular biology and RNA Therapeutics. Our current Research Assistant II just got into medical school and we are seeking a Research Assistant II to work in a lab at the convergence of RNA biochemistry and molecular biology and applying that knowledge to help develop RNA therapeutics focusing on cancer, infectious diseases, and other key areas. Prior RNA molecular biology and mammalian tissue culture experience is required, with previous experience in RNA extraction and purification, in vitro transcription, western blotting, qPCR, and a working knowledge of translational control, and RNA processing steps being particularly useful.  This position will NOT involve work with animals.

Candidates will have the opportunity to do both basic science and translational research as they work in a fast-paced and collaborative research environment in the heart of the Texas Medical Center at the Houston Methodist Research Institute.  They will learn new RNA molecular biology skills and use their skills to design and develop new candidate RNA therapeutics in the lab of Dr. Daniel Kiss https://kiss.hmailabs.org/. The Kiss RNA lab is part of the Houston Methodist Research Institute’s Center for RNA Therapeutics (https://www.houstonmethodist.org/for-health-professionals/department-programs/rna-therapeutics/) which aims to develop new RNA-based therapies to treat human diseases. Other projects focusing on the lab’s NIH and AHA-funded basic science research https://kiss.hmailabs.org/research/ are also available as a companion to their RNA therapeutics project(s).

Excellent organization, communication and critical thinking skills, the ability to work both independently and in a team-based environment, plus self-motivation are also prerequisites. Candidates will have the opportunity to learn and apply cutting edge methodologies to study how cytoplasmic capping modulates gene expression and also to help develop novel RNA therapies in the lab of Dr. Daniel Kiss. 

The Kiss RNA Lab is committed to enhancing diversity in scientific research and has a strong history of hiring and training diverse team members. Applicants belonging to underrepresented groups, those with non-traditional career tracks, and those interested in eventually transitioning to industry positions are strongly encouraged to apply.  Your training will be tailored to you with an individual development plan (IDP) which will focus on aspects of research relevant to your long-term career goals (including those away from the bench).  For those that want to gain experience to eventually transition to an industry track, we can partner with Houston Methodist Hospital’s RNA Core to offer training in (& give you hands-on experience with) both GLP and cGMP RNA manufacturing.

The position is funded (by a combination of NIH, AHA, and philanthropic funds) for at least two years. The position is full time, offers a competitive salary, includes full benefits (including health insurance, two retirement plans, paid time off, and eligibility for quarterly bonuses), and applicants are eligible for relocation assistance and a signing bonus.

Ideally, the Research Assistant II would start as soon as possible (so they can learn from our current RA-II before he begins Med School) but a later start date can be accommodated for the best applicant. If interested, please attach:

(a) a letter of interest,
(b) resume or curriculum vitae, and
(c) a list of three references with your application.

In your letter of interest, please describe your research background, how your previous research qualifies you for this opening, your contribution to your publication(s) and your future interests and career goals.  Please email materials to: [email protected].