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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 Neurosciences Institute's overall mission by preventing the duplication of efforts by Stanford faculty and thus greatly increasing the efficiency of all of our programs.

Our Services

Virology and Molecular Biology Services

  • Plasmid construction

  • Plasmid production

  • Mutagenesis

  • Q-PCR and RT Q-PCR

  • Infectious titer assays

  • Transient transfections

  • Stable cell line construction

  • Others available by request

Custom Viruses Produced

  • Adeno-associated viruses

  • Lentiviruses

  • Retroviruses

  • Others available upon request

Stock Viruses

The virus core generates pre-made viruses (AAVs, lentiviruses, retroviruses) that are available at cost on a first come, first served basis.

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. 

All stock viruses can be made as custom preps in any available serotype.

Download the current list of stock viruses: 

Stock Viruses July 2021

Review standard operating proceedures for Deisseroth lab INTRSECT constructs/viruses:

Deisseroth lab INTRSECT Standard Operating Proceedures

 

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Genetic Engineering image credit: Ciencias EspañolasKoS, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons