Oregon Health & Science University

Research Assistant 2

Job Locations US-OR-Portland
Requisition ID
Position Category
Position Type
Regular Full-Time
Job Type
CEDAR - Knight Cancer Institute
Salary Range
Range minimum: $35,900/year. Starting salary will be determined based on education, experience, and internal equity at the time of offer
Monday through Friday
8:30 am - 5:00 pm, occasional nights and weekends
HR Mission
School of Medicine
Drug Testable

Department Overview

Overview: The Cancer Early Detection Advanced Research (CEDAR) center is a collaborative institution within the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute. The Knight Cancer Institute, known as one of the pioneers in personalized cancer medicine, is an international leader in research and cancer treatment. At CEDAR our mission is to detect and stop lethal cancers at the earliest stage because early detection saves lives. This is an ambitious goal, one that requires novelty, creativity, and innovation. We are comprised of biologists, chemists, biomedical engineers, computationalists, and clinicians conducting groundbreaking translational cancer research to help people maintain a high quality of life and reduce cancer mortality, to create a global early detection community, and to have a positive impact on the Oregon economy.


Our Commitment to Diversity: CEDAR is committed to increasing the diversity of the campus community. We are dedicated to promoting inclusion and multiculturalism by having outstanding researchers of diverse backgrounds work together on multiple projects. We encourage high-risk, high-reward research projects because defeating cancer requires out-of-the-box thinking and new perspectives. Our research is milestone driven to ensure that each project is fulfilling its stated goals.


Every Knight Cancer employee is expected to embody our guiding principles:

  • We act BOLDLY—Breakthroughs require pushing the boundaries of science, exploring new frontiers, and thinking differently
  • We SUPPORT each other—Respect leads to trust, which leads to excellence
  • We work as a CONNECTED team — We must leverage our collective brain power to conquer cancer because no one individual can do it alone

Function/Duties of Position

As a Research Assistant 2, you will be part of collaborative project teams focusing on advancing early cancer detection. Under general supervision, you will support CEDAR research by maintaining CEDAR laboratories, supplies, and assisting in research activities. You will use innovation and problem solving and may help to design experiments and procedures to achieve project objectives. Research Assistant 2s are assigned to program projects as needed. You will have a detailed knowledge of all aspects of laboratory research, and you will be comfortable working both individually and in highly collaborative teams. You will possess good organizational and interpersonal skills.


This position requires a highly motivated and flexible person experienced working with mice in research who can succeed equally well working individually and in a highly collaborative team.  Duties will include assisting in mouse colony maintenance and performing research on basic cancer biology and developing novel diagnostic and therapeutic tools in rodent models as well as general molecular biology lab techniques.


Duties Include but are not limited to:


CEDAR laboratory research:

  • Always exemplifies and promotes CEDAR culture
  • Participates in research execution of CEDAR program(s)
  • Will involve research with rodents. Must know how or be able to learn to handle, manipulate, inject, isolate tissues from and image mice
  • Assists in mouse colony maintenance. Sets up breedings; weans and PCR genotypes pups
  • Must keep accurate records of mouse colony breedings and genotypes
  • Provides updates and works closely with Animal Research Core
  • Performs other general molecular biology laboratory techniques
  • Provides stability and continuity of knowledge as people and projects change
  • Meets regularly with lab managers to identify potential synergies and reduce inefficiencies across projects
  • Acts as a project backup – must be able to fill in for multiple project needs.  This will be especially important in the early stages of CEDAR.  All CEDAR laboratory operations personnel are expected to fulfill multiple roles especially while CEDAR is growing

Required Qualifications

  • Bachelor's in relevant field OR Associate's AND 3 years of relevant experience OR 4 years of relevant experience OR Equivalent combination of training and experience
  • Ability to operate complex scientific equipment and develop and troubleshoot complex experimental protocols
  • Experience handling chemical and biologically hazardous materials
  • Knowledge of policy and regulations applicable to the laboratory, including but not limited to safety, animal use and radiation
  • Technical proficiency, scientific creativity, collaborative ability, and independent thinker
  • Proven ability to work collaboratively with a high performing work group in problem solving
  • Demonstrated ability to build productive cross functional collaborations both internally and externally
  • Demonstrated ability to learn new and innovative processes quickly
  • Must possess energy and drive to coordinate multiple projects simultaneously: prioritize, schedule, manage and coordinate
  • Ability to analyze short and long term project needs
  • Must have excellent communication, analytical and organizational skills:  both written and verbal
  • Ability to use tact and diplomacy to maintain effective working relationships
  • Proficient with computers specifically MS Office (which includes, Excel, Access, Word and PowerPoint) and statistical analysis software

Preferred Qualifications

  • Expertise in early cancer detection, expertise in one of our focus areas: early detection technology, risk stratification, population health and prevention, prognosis assessment, early therapeutics
  • Two or more years in a research position, and 1 year experience working with rodents
  • Experience working within OHSU’s Department of Comparative Medicine
  • Familiarity with OHSU shared research resources
  • Experience with mouse injections, xenograft tumors, and small animal imaging
  • Experience with cell and tissue culture
  • Experience with flow cytometry and sample preparation

Additional Details

Apply online. Please be sure to upload a Cover Letter and Resume/CV.


Effective Oct. 18, 2021, all OHSU employees were required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 unless they had an approved medical or religious exception. If you are hired by OHSU, you will need to be fully vaccinated (or obtain an approved exception) prior to starting work, and need to provide proof of vaccination (or approved exception) within 10 days of starting work.


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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.

As an organization devoted to the health and well-being of people in Oregon and beyond, OHSU requires its employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.


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