The Fesik lab in the Department of Biochemistry at Vanderbilt University is seeking a talented biology/biochemistry research assistant to join our group. This individual will work closely with our team of students, postdocs, biologists, and chemists to contribute to the discovery of new cancer therapeutics.
The focus of our lab is on cancer drug discovery using fragment-based methods and structure-based design. To accomplish this goal, we have assembled a multidisciplinary team that includes structural biologists, medicinal chemists, and cell biologists. In our lab, we clone, express, and purify proteins, conduct fragment-based screens, determine the three-dimensional structures of protein/ligand complexes using NMR and/or X-ray crystallography, design and synthesize compounds, and test compounds in primary and secondary biological assays. The cancer drug targets that we are pursuing are highly validated but technically challenging such as KRas, Mcl1, WDR5, HIF1a, and proteins in the Wnt pathway.
Duties and responsibilities
Biochemical assay development and implementation to measure compound binding activity
Measure compound binding affinity and specificity using purified recombinant target proteins in 384 well plate-based biochemical competitive binding assays in (TR-FRET, Fluorescence polarization, or Alpha Screen assay formats)
Interpret results using standard graphing programs (XLfit, Graphpad Prism), communicate results to team members, post data in internal databases
Gain familiarity with automation equipment provided by the VICB High Throughput Screening Facility (Labcyte Echo 555/555 OMICs, BRAVO Liquid Handling Platform, Multidrop dispenser, etc.)
Maintain appropriate records regarding compounds and procedures.
Perform routine and experiment-based mammalian cell tissue culture.
Duties include passage, maintenance, freezing & storage, and appropriate recordkeeping of cancer cell lines.
Execute standardized plate based cancer cell line screening assays (reporter assay, viability, apoptosis and other cell signaling pathways)
Design experiments to measure predicted on target and off target activity of compounds in cancer cell lines via targeted knockdown by shRNA, siRNA or CRISPR, co-immunoprecipiation, standard Western blot analysis, In-Cell Westerns, flow cytometry, overexpression of targets of interest using standard molecular cloning methods.
Perform additional lab duties to ensure the laboratory is prepared for experiments.
Ensure the most effective operation of the laboratory
Prepare buffers and reagents
Work with labmates to maintain sterile & organized environment in tissue culture facility
Organize, document, and maintain freezers, refrigerators, cell line storage
Profile of an Ideal Candidate
Bachelor degree and 4 years of experience or the equivalent is necessary
Degree in cellular, molecular, or cancer biology, biochemistry or a related field is preferred
4 years of laboratory experience is necessary
Proficient in running and analyzing data from plate-based assays is preferred
Clear written and oral communication skills, excellent data analysis capabilities are preferred
Proficiency with curve-fitting and graphing programs is preferred
Experience with mammalian cell culture, including passaging and storage of cell lines, transfection protocols, and harvesting and preparing cell lysates is preferred
Previous compound screening or drug discovery experience in a pharmaceutical or biotech company is preferred
About Vanderbilt Benefits
Vanderbilt University offers a competitive, flexible benefits package including health, dental, vision, life, accidental death & dismemberment, disability insurance, paid time off, and a 403(b) retirement plan with employer match. Vanderbilt offers tuition assistance to employees, spouses, and dependent children.
About Vanderbilt University
Vanderbilt University, located in Nashville, Tennessee, is a top-15 private research university offering a full range of undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. Vanderbilt is situated on a 330-acre campus near the thriving city center, serving more than 12,000 students and employing almost 7,000 faculty and staff. The university's students, staff, and faculty frequently cite Nashville and the surrounding area as one of the many perks of being a part of the Vanderbilt community. Vanderbilt University is a place where your expertise will be valued, your knowledge expanded, and your abilities challenged. It is a place where your diversity is sought and celebrated. Vanderbilt was recently named as one of "America's Best Large Employers" and the top employer in Tennessee and the Nashville metropolitan area in 2019 (Forbes).
Commitment to Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
Vanderbilt University is committed to achieving the goal of a diverse and inclusive academic community of faculty, staff, and students. We seek individuals who are committed to this goal and our campus values.
Internal Number: 1902020
About Vanderbilt University
Vanderbilt University is a center for scholarly research, informed and creative teaching, and service to the community and society at large. Vanderbilt will uphold the highest standards and be a leader in the quest for new knowledge through scholarship, the dissemination of knowledge through teaching and outreach, and the creative experimentation of ideas and concepts. In pursuit of these goals, Vanderbilt values most highly intellectual freedom that supports open inquiry, equality, compassion, and excellence in all endeavors.