Follow Us On LinkedIn (Link opens in a new window)
Research Associate - RNA Therapeutics
Job Ref # 24150
Houston Methodist Academic Institute
6670 Bertner Ave
Houston, TX 77030

Category: Academic Institute

Job Type: Full-Time

Posted Date: April 1, 2022


The Research Associate II is responsible for providing advanced technical research skills and establishing test methods and procedures under the direction of Department Chairperson or Scientist (Faculty).

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. 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 The Kiss RNA lab is part of the Houston Methodist Research Institute’s Center for 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 are also available as a companion to the postdoc’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 study how cytoplasmic capping modulates gene expression and also to help develop novel RNA therapies in the lab of Dr. Daniel Kiss.

The position is funded (by a combination of NIH, AHA, and philanthropic funds) for at least two years. If interested, please attach a letter of interest, curriculum vitae and list of three references with your application. In your letter of interest, please describe your research background, interests and future career goals.

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.



PEOPLE -20 %

  1. Oversees a team of Research Assistants and Post Docs 0-2, and participants from other HMHRI labs.
  2. Assigns and reviews work of research project staff.


  1. Plans, directs and coordinates laboratory research projects (medium to high complexity)
  2. Completes/performs research and incorporates novel procedures and methods into ressearch experiments as appropriate.
  3. Analyze data for research grants and publications (medium to high complexity)
  4. Reviews scientific literature.


  1. Establishes and maintains quality control of poject operations.
  2. Writes and maintains regulatory and safety committee applications/protocols
  3. Keeps good records of all procedures and outcomes.
  4. Adheres to and assists with customizing of TMH and TMHRI Safety Procedures for Laboratory.


  1. Plans and carefully designs experiments
  2. Steward of Houston Methodist's resources and considers this for supply orders.
  3. Keeps projects on required timelines
  4. Researches best cost/quality options for supply orders
  5. Assists with ensuring orders are on appropriate grants.


  1. Determines specific research project goals and objectives to be attained.
  2. Prepares scientific presentations for departmental meetings.
  3. Participates in grant writing.
  4. Participates in publication writing as first author
  5. Works toward writing specific aims and research plan independently.
This job description is not intended to be all inclusive; the employee will also perform other reasonably related business/job duties as assigned. Houston Methodist reserves the right to revise job duties and responsibilities as the need arises.


    • Terminal degree with minimum 6 years experience
    • 6 years experience
  • N/A

    • Sufficient proficiency in speaking, reading, and writing the English language necessary to perform the essential functions of this job, especially with regard to activities impacting patient or employee safety or security.
    • Ability to effectively communicate with patients, physicians, family members and co-workers in a manner consistent with a customer service focus and application of positive language principles.
    • Strong analytical and interpersonal skills
    • Ability to work under pressure and balance many competing priorities
    • Proficient in spreadsheet, word processing, and presentation software
    • Demonstrates effective communication skills
    • Professional handling of exposure to confidential/sensitive information

Company Profile:

Houston Methodist Academic Institute was formed to rapidly and efficiently translate discoveries made in the laboratory and the clinic into new diagnostics, therapies and treatments. The research institute was created in 2004 to provide the infrastructure and support for these endeavors, and to house the technology and resources needed to make innovative breakthroughs in important areas of human disease. A 540,000 square foot building dedicated to research and clinical trials, the academic institute houses over 2,047 credentialed researchers conducting 1,470 ongoing clinical protocols.

Check Out - The Daily Dose News from the Houston Methodist Community (opens in a new window)
Houston Methodist Included On List Of Best Places To Work In 2022
Houston Methodist Named a Best Place to Work in 2022. Through voluntary and anonymous feedback shared on Glassdoor, Houston Methodist is proud to announce our inclusion on their list of the Best Places to Work in 2022. The feedback provided by our employees aligns with our I CARE values …
Houston Methodist Named Best Employer
Houston Methodist is excited to announce that Forbes and Statista have again named us a Top Employer in Texas. This is their third annual list highlighting noteworthy employers based on surveys from 80,000 Americans working for businesses with at least 500 employees. We at Houston Methodist are honored being featured …
Houston Methodist Hospital Named a ‘World’s Best Smart Hospital’
Houston Methodist is proud to announce that Houston Methodist Hospital is named a ‘World’s Best Smart Hospital 2021’. Newsweek and Statista partnered to develop a list of hospitals deemed best for integrating new technologies and data-driven opportunities as part of their delivery of health care. At Houston Methodist, we strive …