Research Associate in RNA molecular biology and RNA Therapeutics in the Center for RNA Therapeutics at the Houston Methodist Research Institute

Posted on July 9,

The Research Associate I is responsible for providing advanced technical research skills and establishing test methods and procedures under the direction of Department Chairperson or Scientist (Faculty).  Their duties will be as a researcher focusing on existing RNA therapy projects (~75-80% effort) and also to design and implement a novel RNA therapy project of their own design ~20-25% effort).

The Kiss RNA Lab is an externally-funded (existing support from NIH, CPRIT, and AHA & philanthropy, plus past support from the ASGCT) working on both basic science and translational research projects in the fields of RNA molecular Biology and RNA Therapeutics. This position is seeking a Research Associate 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. Ideal candidates will have prior RNA molecular biology and mammalian tissue culture experience (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 the research associate’s 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 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. Candidates 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 Associate would start by September, but an earlier/later start date will be accommodated for the best applicant. If interested, please include:

(a) a letter of interest,
(b) curriculum vitae,
(c) a PDF of a recent publication/preprint (if available), and
(d) 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].