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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.

The following procedures should always be performed during the course of producing and using recombinant viruses.

Checklist for Producing Recombinant Viruses

  • Obtain institutional approval to use recombinant viruses
  • Choose virus
  • Design vector
  • Provide virus core with predicted sequence of vector
  • Construct vector
  • Characterize vector
  • Produce plasmid vector
  • Decide how much virus to produce at what purity level
  • Produce virus
  • Store virus properly
  • Use virus properly
  • Dispose of unused virus properly

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 Administrative Panel for Biosafety (APB). The virus core is required to obtain approved copies of APB applications before it can produce viruses for Stanford customers.

See the APB Review website or eProtocol for instructions.