Research Associate - Department of Surgery

Date: February 2, 2020

Title: Research Associate

Department: Surgery

School: School of Medicine

Location: Wolstein Building

Supervisor Name and Title: Rui Wang, Assistant Professor



We are a highly translational laboratory led by Rui Wang, Ph.D. Our laboratory has established strategies for isolating different human cell types from malignant and non-malignant surgical specimens. We use these primary cells to facilitate our work focusing on understanding how tumor microenvironment (especially the endothelial cells) promotes cancer cell survival pathways (growth, chemoresistance, cancer stem cell phenotype ect.) in primary and metastatic colorectal (CRC) and pancreatic cancer. The candidate will lead the NIH/NCI-funded project to validate the effects of endothelial cell (EC)-secreted factor(s) on HER3-driven survival pathways in RAS wildtype and RAS mutant CRC cells, and to determine the mechanism(s) of EC-induced HER3 activation in CRC cells with in vitro and in vivo models. Lab work will involve tissue culture; isolating primary cells from fresh tissue samples; DNA, RNA, and protein-related assays; cell growth and death assays; animal work (xenograft tumor models, PDX). Additionally, studies will interface with experts in pathology, biostatistics, medicinal chemistry and other specialties.

The candidate is expected to prepare manuscripts and contribute preliminary data, background and significance and experimental design for grant proposals. Under the guidance of the PI, the candidate should be able to work independently, read and critically interpret the literature, assist with designing and planning of projects, oversee collaborations, supervise students, manage animal models, and to carry out research on the assigned project. The candidate is encouraged to apply for grants and present at local and national meetings. Importantly, the fellow must work well with others, and have a desire to help cancer patients as a principal motivation for their work.


  1. Design, plan and carry out experiment under the guidance of the PI. Assist and oversight of staff, and graduate students ensure projects are being completed according to the research plan. Advise/Assist in developing techniques, project methods, or procedures.
  2. Perform/supervise tumor xenograft animal studies. Prefer to have experience with rodent husbandry including breeding, genotyping and maintain an accurate animal database. If has no experience, must be willing to learn to work with animals.
  3. Analyze and record results. Manuscript preparation.
  4. Present results in laboratory meetings and other scientific meetings.
  5. Plan and execute research in collaboration with other investigators on and off campus.
  6. Develop and adapt laboratory techniques.
  7. Analyze the data generated from these experiments and provide high level analysis to PI.
  8. Support writing grant applications, research protocols, publications
  9. Help the lab manager and the research assistant with general lab operations including inventory, lab organization and maintain certain equipment/facilities. Must demonstrate compliance with policies, procedures and regulations of the Animal Resource Center, IACUC, Animal Welfare Act, Public Health Service Policy, AAALAC guidelines and other applicable regulatory guidelines for which essential training will be provided.
  10. Assist with management of daily laboratory operations and training of new students and staff.


  1. Assist to manage lab wastes, organize lab inventory and take care of lab safety.
  2. Perform other duties as assigned.



PI: Continuous contact with Principal Investigator for mentorship

Lab colleagues: Continuous contact with lab members. Lab members are encouraged to help, and to ask for help.

Department: Moderate administrative staff contact to obtain administrative support for research activities.

University: Routine contact with Environmental Health and Safety, as well as Animal Research in order to meet regulatory requirements.

External: Continuous contact with Collaborators to further our and their research objectives.

Students: Regular contact with graduate and undergraduate students as part of the teaching mission.



Supervisory responsibilities principally will include mentorship of students in the lab.


Experience: Minimum of 2 years post-doctoral experience is required. Graduate degree, PhD, in one of the fields related to biomedical or the life sciences.

Education/Licensing: PhD



  1. Ability to work well with others and to work independently. The individual should be able to follow directions and protocols.
  2. Ability to collect and analyze data with attention to detail and do multiple tasks simultaneously.
  3. Effective oral and written communication skills. Must be able to effectively communicate with the PI/supervisor as well as other lab members.
  4. Good interpersonal skills; ability to work and communicate with various individuals within and external to the University.
  5.  Good organization skills; ability to multi-task, prioritize and meet deadlines. Must demonstrate attention to detail and accuracy and follow-through on assigned tasks.
  6. Ability to work effectively independently and collaboratively within a team.
  7. Ability to work with sensitive information and maintain confidentiality.
  8. Good problem-solving skills; must demonstrate good analytical skills, sound judgment and good decision-making.
  9. Ability to rely on and follow instructions and pre-established guidelines to perform the functions of the job.
  10. Ability to operate laboratory equipment and learn to operate new instruments
  11. Familiarity with policies and procedures of lab and chemical safety
  12. Knowledge in Microsoft Office, database applications, and with internet navigation.
  13. Willingness to learn new techniques, procedures, processes, and software programs as needed.



The researcher will work at the bench performing experiments that requires standing and sitting. Will perform some experiments in the animal room, standing in the laminar flow hood. Involves walking between different buildings in the University. Will involve travel to meetings or conferences if secured travel funding. Must be willing to adjust working hours according to the nature of ongoing experiments.


Interested candidates should send CV to Dr. Rui Wang at