Associate Investigator: Cancer Genetics, Epigenetics and Biomarkers

An Associate Investigator position is available for immediate recruitment for a highly motivated candidate to join a team of researchers at the Baylor Research Institute and Charles A Sammons Cancer Center, Baylor University Medical Center, Dallas, TX, USA. The laboratory headed by Dr. Ajay Goel, PhD focuses on understanding the interplay between genetic, epigenetic and alterations in noncoding RNAs in gastrointestinal cancers. We are a multidisciplinary research group, undertaking a number of collaborative projects involving Baylor Research Institute and large international consortia.

Research Description:

This position involves studies surrounding work in the field of epigenetics and noncoding RNA research. More specifically, the projects will involve any/all of the following research focuses.

  1. a) Exploration of the role of aberrant DNA methylation, histone modifications and non-coding RNAs (miRNA, lncRNAs, snoRNAs, piRNAs etc.) in colorectal, pancreatic and hepatocellular carcinoma.
  2. b) Establishment of innovative methodologies for the development of epigenetic and non-coding RNAs-based biomarkers for the earlier diagnosis, prognosis and predictive responses to chemotherapy in gastrointestinal neoplasia.
  3. c) A better understanding of the translational and clinical role of genetic and epigenetic signatures in gastrointestinal cancers.
  4. d) Understanding the genetic basis of early-onset and familial colorectal cancers.
  5. e) Chemoprevention of gastrointestinal cancers using dietary nutraceuticals, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and other drugs.
  6. f) Molecular mechanisms of cancer chemotherapy, stem cells, chemoresistance and chemosensitization.
  7. g) Gut microbiome, and its influence on gastrointestinal cancers.

Job Description:

An ideal candidate should have a strong background in molecular biology, and relevant experience in cancer genetics and epigenetics. The candidates with prior hands-on experience in NGS-based platforms (Ion Torrent PGM sequencer, MiSeq/HiSeq, RRBS, ChIP-Seq, MeDip and RNASeq etc.), and other array-based platforms will be given preference. Knowledge and experience with various bioinformatics and biostatistical analysis tools will be highly preferred.

The Associate Investigator is a high-level position for an individual who is a sell-sustaining Scientist and has achieved recognition in his/her filed of endeavor. He/she heads a laboratory that focuses its research in an area that is compatible with goals of the Baylor Research Institute (BRI) and meets with the approval of the Center for Gastrointestinal Cancer Research Director. The Associate Investigator is responsible for hiring, training and management of his/her Lab personnel and for assuring that they work according to the BRI standards. While the Associate Investigator may receive supplemental funds from BRI, it is the Associate Investigators responsibility to obtain grants that will support his/her research and to produce data that is worthy of publication in leading scientific journals and has patent potential. The Associate Investigator is a member of the BRI faculty and plays a role in the continued growth and development of BRI. He/she may be asked to serve on committees, develop collaborations or act as a liaison with external departments. An Associate Investigator may be promoted to the level of Investigator once he/she has obtained at least three grants of a specified nature and/or achieved recognition as a leader in his/her field.

Job Functions:

  • Heads a Laboratory performing research in an area compatible with the goals of BRI, and approved by the Director, Center for Gastrointestinal Cancer Research. Is responsible for obtaining and sustaining grants, awards, and other financial support that will be used for salaries, supplies, and other expenses associated with performance of his/her project(s).
  • Hires and oversees the training and supervision of all personnel who work in his/her Laboratory, assuring the safe and proper performance of experiments, including operations of all necessary equipment and apparatus according the BRI standards.
  • Is responsible for the scientific integrity of all data generated and assures that the data is recorded in Laboratory notebooks according the BRI standards.
  • Obtains and maintains in good-standing, all licenses and certifications necessary for the performance of his/her research project, such as Animal Care/Handling certificates, etc. Obtains and maintains in good-standing, all Institutional Review Board (IRB) and Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) protocol approvals, etc., needed for the performance of his/her project(s).
  • Obtains publications in the leading scientific journals in his/her field. Produces patentable data. Is expected to be an invited leader at major International conferences, write journal review articles, book chapters, or other solicited scientific papers.
  • Is responsible for the proper use and management of funds received to support his/her research projects.
  • Attends and participates when possible, in National and International scientific conferences, workshops, programs, etc., to increase knowledge, present data, and promote the presence of BRI for the purpose of establishing collaborations and recruitment
  • Serves as a BRI faculty member and participates in the growth and development of the Institute by contributing ideas and expertise that will increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the Institute’s operations. May be required to serve as the Department’s Safety Officer, member of a committee, or act as a liaison to the Baylor Departments or external facilities.

Minimum Requirements: The candidate should possess the following criteria:  1) PhD, MD/PhD 2) Evidence of first author peer-reviewed publications and prior grant funding success, 3) Prior molecular and/or cancer biology experience and evidence of project development, 4) Excellent communication and writing skills. Prospective candidates should be highly motivated, enthusiastic about science, with an ability to think creatively and independently. Candidate should demonstrate a strong track record of publication, have good organizational, written, and oral communication skills, and be able to work independently and in a team environment.

To Apply:  The position is available initially for 2-3 years, with potential for extension. Salary is commensurate with experience. Interested candidates should submit a CV and cover letter summarizing your Qualifications, Research Interests and Career Goals, and describe your specific interest in our lab.  Include the names and contact information of 3 references and send via email to:

Ajay Goel, Ph.D.
Director, Center for Gastrointestinal Cancer Research
Director, Center for Epigenetics, Cancer Prevention and Cancer Genomics
Baylor Research Institute and Charles A Sammons Cancer Center
Baylor University Medical Center
3500 Gaston Avenue, Suite H-250
Dallas, TX 75246