Performs advanced research duties under the supervision/direction of a Principal Investigator.
This position is seeking a Postdoctoral Fellow (open rank) to work in an RNA molecular biology lab that helps develop novel RNA therapeutics. We already have a number of RNA therapy candidates underway, but the postdoc will be encouraged to (and guided through the process of) developing and testing their own RNA therapy candidate using in vitro (and if successful moving to pre-clinical) studies. Prior RNA biochemistry and/or molecular biology experience is needed, with previous experience with Group I or group II intron splicing being particularly useful. 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 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 postdoc’s RNA therapeutics project(s).
The Kiss RNA Lab is committed to enhancing diversity (since opening, 50% of the lab’s trainees belong to underrepresented groups) in scientific research. Postdocs 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). Depending upon your career track, you will be encouraged to apply for independent fellowships, but that is not mandatory as this position is fully funded for at least two years. In particular, those on an academic career track are encouraged to apply for (and will be mentored in preparing) postdoctoral fellowships to help their long-run academic prospects. For those on 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.
Ideally, the postdoc would start between April and June of 2022, but an earlier/later start date can be accommodated for the best applicant. If interested, please attach:
a letter of interest,
a PDF of a recent publication/preprint, and
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Houston Methodist Standard
PATIENT AGE GROUP(S) AND POPULATION(S) SERVED
Refer to departmental “Scope of Service” and “Provision of Care” plans, as applicable, for description of primary age groups and populations served by this job for the respective HM entity.
HOUSTON METHODIST EXPERIENCE EXPECTATIONS
Provide personalized care and service by consistently demonstrating our I CARE values:INTEGRITY: We are honest and ethical in all we say and do.
COMPASSION: We embrace the whole person including emotional, ethical, physical, and spiritual needs.
ACCOUNTABILITY: We hold ourselves accountable for all our actions.
RESPECT: We treat every individual as a person of worth, dignity, and value.
EXCELLENCE: We strive to be the best at what we do and a model for others to emulate.
Focuses on patient/customer safety
Delivers personalized service using HM Service Standards
Provides for exceptional patient/customer experiences by following our Standards of Practice of always using Positive Language (AIDET, Managing Up, Key Words)
Intentionally rounds with patients/customers to ensure their needs are being met
Involves patients (customers) in shift/handoff reports byenabling their participation in their plan of care as applicable to the given job
Displays cultural humility, diversity, equity and inclusion principles
Actively supports the organization vision, fulfills the mission and abides by the I CARE values
PRIMARY JOB RESPONSIBILITIES
Job responsibilities labeled EF capture those duties that are essential functions of the job.
PEOPLE – 20%
Assists the physician in maintaining the functionality and operations of the Principal Investigator’s (PI) laboratory. (EF)
Promotes a positive work environment and leads the team to be dynamic and a focused work unit that actively helps one other to achieve optimal department results. Collaborates with all members of the department by actively communicating and reporting data in a comprehensive manner. (EF)
Role models to team members effective verbal, non-verbal and written communication, which includes active listening and teaching, assisting in development of such skills. (EF)
Provides contributions towards improvement of department scores for employee engagement, i.e. peer-to-peer accountability. (EF)
SERVICE – 20%
Develops research methods and performs research activities. (EF)
Documents research results and writes reports of results for presentation and/or publication in professional journals and other publications. (EF)
QUALITY/SAFETY – 20%
Follows all safety rules while on the job. Reports accidents promptly and corrects minor safety hazards. Communicates with peers and management regarding any hazards identified in the workplace. (EF)
Assists with implementation and education of department-based safety initiatives, standards of practice and protocols. Develops skills of team members and continually assists with improving skills, performance and outcomes. (EF)
Identifies opportunities for corrective action and process improvement providing recommendations and contributes to meeting department and laboratory targets for quality and safety. (EF)
FINANCE – 20%
Utilizes resources effectively and efficiently, demonstrating responsible financial stewardship. Manages own time effectively and prioritizes work to achieve maximum results in a timely manner. (EF)
Uses resources efficiently; does not waste supplies. Self-motivated to independently manage time effectively and prioritize daily tasks. (EF)
GROWTH/INNOVATION – 20%
Participates in pertinent research activities and evidenced-based practice projects. Participates in departmental projects and activities. Acts as a change agent. (EF)
Seeks opportunities to expand learning beyond baseline competencies with a focus on continual development. Remains current on professional issues and clinical skills. Completes and updates the My Development Plan on an on-going basis. Ensures own career discussions occur with appropriate management. (EF)
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.
o Postdoctoral Fellow 0, 1, 2, 3, 4 – Doctor of Medicine (MD) from an accredited medical school or Doctoral Degree (PhD) in medical field (A letter from the academic institution certifying that all student work is complete will be considered for Postdoctoral Fellow 0 only.)
o Postdoctoral Fellow 0– None
o Postdoctoral Fellow 1– One year of Postdoc experience
o Postdoctoral Fellow 2 – Two years’ Postdoc experience
o Postdoctoral Fellow 3 – Three years’ Postdoc experience
o Postdoctoral Fellow 4 – Four years’ Postdoc experience
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