Gene Vector and Virus Core


Welcome to the GVVC - Gene Vector and Virus Core

New AAV vectors added to stock distribution system!
Oprm1/MOR promoter AAVs, Kali potassium ChRs, ASAP4 voltage sensors, spectrum-spanning fluorescent protein reporters
Quick Menu:

Viruses Produced

 AAV ribbon diagram (Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 4.0)

Adeno-associated viruses


Lentivirus diagram (Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 4.0)



Retrovirus protein diagram (Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 4.0) 


Overview of Services 


The delivery of recombinant genes into neurons is a critically important strategy for understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying all brain functions, as well as for how these mechanisms go awry in brain disorders. A complementary and equally important strategy is delivery of inhibitory RNAs to eliminate or reduce specific brain proteins. Genetically engineered viruses provide powerful tools for introducing these constructs into brain cells. Indeed it is now possible, using a single virus particle, to both eliminate specific proteins and replace them with modified versions in specific subsets of cells in the brain. It is also possible, using viruses, to express proteins that will allow precise control over the electrical activity of individual nerve cells. These virally mediated molecular manipulations allow unprecedented experimental control over synapses, cells and circuits in model systems as well as in vivo in the mammalian brain.


To facilitate the use of these state-of-the-art methodologies by Stanford neuroscientists, the Neuroscience Gene Vector and Virus Core centralizes the process of producing and distributing viral vectors and cDNA plasmids. This benefits the Wu Tsai Neurosciences Institute’s overall mission by preventing the duplication of efforts by Stanford faculty and thus greatly increasing the efficiency of all of the Wu Tsai Neurosciences Institute’s programs. 

Stock Viruses

The virus core has generated several pre-made viruses (AAVs, lentiviruses, retroviruses) that are available at cost on a first come, first served basis. Stock viruses can serve several purposes such as:
  • negative controls
  • screening cells and animals for infection efficiency in cases where it is unknown (“tropism screening”)
  • practicing infections or in vivo injections.


Since the stock viruses are pre-made, the time required to obtain them is significantly shortened. Several stock viruses are currently available that express fluorescent reporters or optogenetic tools. Stock viruses with specific genes of interest will be generated and maintained if there is enough ongoing demand.


List of currently available stock viruses

Getting Started - Account Setup


  • Stanford Users:  LOGIN or REGISTER for an iLab account using valid Stanford credentials (SUNet ID).



To request any service from our core, please read and follow the instructions in the forms below:





Before Beginning a Project

Researchers are strongly encouraged to contact and interact with the Gene Vector and Virus Core as early in a project as possible. Many of the projects that fail are a result of mistakes (usually in vector design or characterization) that could be avoided if the virus core was consulted at an early stage. The virus core does not charge for advice or consultations.

GVVC users should always perform the following procedures prior to ordering recombinant viruses:

  • Obtain institutional approval to use recombinant viruses.
  • Choose virus.
  • Design vector.
  • Construct vector.
  • Characterize vector.
  • Produce plasmid vector.
  • Provide virus core with predicted sequence of vector.
  • Decide how much virus to produce at what purity level.
Upon receipt of virus from GVVC:
  • Store virus properly*.
  • Use virus properly*.
  • Dispose of unused virus properly*.
* In a manner compliant with your lab's institutionally approved protocol(s), in addition to adherence to federal, state, and/or local regulations.
Use and (disposal) of recombinant viruses is governed by specific institutional guidelines that are often based on the CDC/NIH (biosafety level/BSL) guidelines for their use. At Stanford, researchers must obtain approval to use recombinant viruses by submitting an application to the APB (Administrative Panel for Biosafety). The virus core is required to obtain approved copies of APB applications before it can produce viruses for Stanford customers. See or eProtocol.



Nicholas Wall, Ph.D. | Director

Office:  S081

Phone: 650-723-0588



Location and Hours of Operation




Gene Vector and Virus Core, Stanford University

Wu Tsai Neurosciences Institute
290 Jane Stanford Way, Room S078
Stanford CA 94305

Mailing Address

Wu Tsai Neurosciences Institute
290 Jane Stanford Way
M/C 5088
Stanford CA 94305


8:00 a.m. - 5 p.m. Pacific time, Monday to Friday  





Links and Resources


  • Working with viral vectors: MSDS


Publication Acknowledgement 


As with all Stanford Service Centers, credit must be given to Neuroscience Gene Vector and Virus Core for data that results in a publication. If the work done at GVVC produces data resulting in a figure in a publication, you are required to acknowledge Neuroscience Gene Vector and Virus Core in the publication. Further, if staff members provided significant experimental design, data interpretation, or other intellectual contribution (as evaluated by the PI), then it is expected that these individuals will be coauthors on the publication.


 Return to Top




Name Role Phone Email Location
Nicholas Wall, Ph.D.
GVVC Director
nrwall at
290 Jane Stanford Way, S081
Maritza Vallejo
Financial Contact

maritza.vallejo at
290 Jane Stanford Way, E152
Subbu Dhulipala
GVVC Staff
sri2 at
290 Jane Stanford Way, S078
Anitha Ponnuswami
GVVC Staff
aponnusw at
290 Jane Stanford Way, S078
Rebecca K. Edwards
GVVC Staff
re2 at
290 Jane Stanford Way, S078
Jihanne Shepherd
GVVC Staff
jihanne at
290 Jane Stanford Way, S078

Service Price List

Search available services:
Name Description Price
GVVC-AAV-165 | AAV-DJ-Ef1a-fDIO GCaMP 6s - per ul; MTA-D req. Inquire
GVVC-AAV-193 | AAV-8- CaMKIIa-ChRmine-mScarlet-WPRE - per uL; MTA-D req. Inquire
GVVC-AAV-197 | AAV-8- nEF-Con/Fon TVA-mCherry WPRE - per uL; MTA-D req.  Inquire