Oregon Health & Science University

Research Assistant 2 or Sr. Research Assistant

Job Locations US-OR-Portland
Requisition ID
Position Category
Position Type
Regular Full-Time
Job Type
Knight Cancer Institute, Prostate Cancer Research Program (Thomas Lab)
Salary Range
$43,388.80 - $65,062.40 per year (Commensurate with qualifications, experience and internal equity)
Monday - Friday
8:30am - 5:00pm, no remote work option
HR Mission
School of Medicine
Drug Testable

Department Overview

We, at the Knight Cancer Institute, are driven to cure cancer.


So, if you’re innately inquisitive, motivated, and truly want to explore novel opportunities that seek to make a real difference in the way we treat cancer, then this position may be right for you.


We are seeking a Research Assistant to work at the intersection of biomedical data science and cancer metabolic reprograming that occurs during cancer treatment, as part of the Thomas Lab. Specifically, we seek to identify metabolic vulnerabilities that occur under selective pressure of treatment, which can then be exploited to eliminate tumor cells. Previous publications from our group include: Genes & Development 20, 2067-2084; Metabolites 5, 82; Cell 174: 758-769; Nature Medicine 12,122-127; Cancer Journal 15, 406-420; Science Translational Medicine 3(85): 85ra47; J Clin Oncol 36: 2492-2503; Cell Rep Med 2, 100267.

Function/Duties of Position

Position will be hired at the Research Assistant 2 or Sr. Research Assistant level, while taking into consideration years of experience and internal equity (see Qualifications section for more information).


Qualities of a successful candidate: 

  • Highly-motivated with a basic background in molecular/cellular biology
  • Creative and driven—able to analyze and apply computational tools to emerging genomic technologies to address basic and translational questions in our research area, including cancer metabolism, cancer therapeutics and biomarker discovery
  • Committed to academic biomedical research
  • Strong desire to learn and integrate biological and computational modeling techniques

Important findings will be further explored experimentally, both in our lab and through collaboration, with the ultimate goal of translating promising findings into clinical trials.


Key responsibilities:

  • Performs cell culture and mouse work, including drug treatments
  • Performs basic molecular biology techniques including functional cell assays, PCR, Q-PCR, cellular imaging, DNA/RNA extraction, Western blots, etc.
  • Data analysis (when possible using bioinformatics software)

Assists in the development of new assays in clinical samples

Required Qualifications

Research Assistant 2:
Bachelor’s Degree (4 yr.) with major courses in mathematics, computational biology, molecular biology or related field and no experience -or-
Associate's degree AND 3 years of relevant experience -or-
4 years of relevant experience -or-
Equivalent combination of training and experience.

Senior Research Assistant:
Bachelor’s Degree (4 yr.) with major courses in mathematics, computational biology, molecular biology or related field and 1 year of relevant experience -or-
Equivalent combination of training and experience.

Required competencies: 

  • Ability to conduct wet lab experiments with technologies commonly used in molecular labs (ex. cell culture, Westerns, Q-PCR, DNA/RNA/Protein prep).
  • Ability to understand research protocols and take initiative in researching, creating and troubleshooting laboratory techniques
  • Ability to manage time effectively by prioritizing tasks and multi-tasking efficiently
  • Proficiency in preparing stock reagents and drug titrations
  • Excellent communication, analytical and organizational skills:  both written and verbal
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team while being collaborative in resolving problems

Proficient with computers running Windows and PC applications

Preferred Qualifications

  • Bachelor's degree with major courses in computational biology and molecular biology
  • 1-2 years of research experience in high throughput sequencing data analysis and wet lab work
  • Expertise in statistical methods in data analysis, preferably with applications to high-throughput sequencing or other biological assays
  • Ability to write R or Python scripts
  • Experience with research software applications (Prism, XLfit, etc)
  • Experience with handling and working with mice
  • Experience with western blotting
  • Experience with flow cytometry
  • Familiarity with Oracle

Additional Details

OHSU offers a generous benefits package that includes:

  • Vacation - up to 208 hours per year pending length of service for full-time employees
  • Sick Leave - 64 hours per year for full-time employees
  • 10 paid holidays per year
  • Comprehensive medical, dental & vision care plans. Covered 100% for full-time employees and 88% for dependents
  • $25K of term life insurance provided at no cost to the employee
  • Retirement: Choose between pension plan or employee matching voluntary savings plan
  • Substantial Tri-met and C-Tran discounts
  • Tuition Reimbursement 
  • OHSU is a non-profit organization, so we qualify for the Public Loan Forgiveness Program
  • Innovative Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
  • Health Care and Dependent Care Flexible Spending Accounts
  • Employee Discounts

As of Oct. 18, 2021, all OHSU employees are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Fully vaccinated means you have received both doses of a two-dose, or one dose of a single-dose, FDA- or WHO-authorized COVID-19 vaccine and at least 14 days have passed since your final dose of COVID-19 vaccine. If you apply for and are offered a position, you must be fully vaccinated prior to starting work.


If the position you are offered does not require direct, in-person patient care contact, you may request an exception to the vaccine policy for medical or religious reasons. OHSU uses very narrow criteria under the law to allow an exception and very few requests are being approved.


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All are welcome

Oregon Health & Science University values a diverse and culturally competent workforce. We are proud of our commitment to being an equal opportunity, affirmative action organization that does not discriminate against applicants on the basis of any protected class status, including disability status and protected veteran status. Individuals with diverse backgrounds and those who promote diversity and a culture of inclusion are encouraged to apply. To request reasonable accommodation contact the Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity Department at 503-494-5148 or aaeo@ohsu.edu.


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