Frequently Asked Questions | Gene Vector and Virus Core

What is the cost of virus production? 

Please submit an order request through GVVC's iLab page to receive a quote. All financials are processed through iLab, Stanford's shared facilities platform.

What forms of payment do you accept?

Our preferred payment method is via purchase order (PO).  Electronic transfer via ACH/wire is also acceptable (non-preferred) for some international orders.  We unfortunately cannot process credit card payments.

What is the final volume of the virus?
  • Stock AAVs can be ordered in any quantity, and are charged by the microliter.
  • Custom AAV volume depends on the production scale.  
    • For a standard scale prep (2-3 transfected flasks), final recovered volume will be roughly 100-150 ul.
    • We can generally concentrate down to a minimum volume of 70 ul if requested.  
    • For larger scale preps, rule of thumb is roughly 50 ul per transfected flask, but can be adjusted slightly as requested.
  • For ultracentrifuged lentivirus/gamma-retrovirus preps:
    • We can resuspend in an arbitrary volume of PBS, HBSS, or culture medium.  
    • Minimum recovery volume is the smallest amount of fluid needed to resuspend the viral pellet.  
    • If volume is unspecified, expect roughly 25-35 ul per transfected T-75 flask.
  • For crude lentivirus/gamma-retrovirus preps, final volume will be roughly 24 ml of virus-laden culture media per transfected T-75 flask. 

What is the turnaround time for virus production? 

Stock viruses:

We strive to have all stock viruses on hand for immediate distribution.  If your requested volume exceeds what we have in stock, we will contact you and prepare a fresh batch of virus in the next production cycle.

  • Stanford scientists: Usually within 24 hours of financial approval
  • External US scientists: Once all paperwork (MTAs, purchase order, service center agreement, etc) is completed, we ship domestically via FedEx Priority Overnight on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, depending on dry ice availability.  
  • International scientists
    • In addition to the above paperwork, all supplemental customs forms specific to your country must be completed prior to shipment.  
    • We provide customs declarations and pro forma invoices in triplicate; make sure to contact us if your country requires additional steps for import of the requested viral vectors.  
    • Since international shipments require a large amount of dry ice, it is possible that we won't have enough dry ice on hand and will need to ship the following week. 
    • We ship via FedEx International Priority on Fridays, or via your preferred international courier based upon mutual agreement.

Custom viruses:

Except in cases of extraordinary demand, once all necessary materials are submitted and all paperwork/finances are completed, we can usually initiate virus production the following week.  All estimates below can vary depending on characterization and quality control assessment.  If any quality control metrics trigger an immediate remake, GVVC will contact you with an updated timeline.

  • Stanford scientists:
    • Ultracentrifuged AAV: By the end of the 2nd week.
    • Ultracentrifuged lentivirus: 
      • No characterization requested: By the end of the 1st week
      • Fluorescent expression titer and/or genomic titer requested: By the end of the 2nd week
      • Antibiotic resistance colony forming titer requested: By the end of the 3rd week
    • Crude lentivirus: Supernatant available Thursday of the 1st week.  Characterization, if requested, will occur over the following days.
  • External scientists
    • As above, but with the same shipping constraints as listed in the stock viruses section.  
    • All requested characterization must be completed prior to fulfillment.

Which virus should I use? 

For most “general” purposes, the virus core recommends using AAV-DJ, which infects most cells both in vitro and in vivo very efficiently (an important factor if you plan to use the same virus for both types of work) and is typically produced at a higher level compared to certain other AAVs. There are some circumstances where a lentivirus would be recommended over AAV, however, so it is important to pick the virus that best suits your needs.  If you are unsure, plans can be formulated by contacting the GVVC Director

How should I acknowledge GVVC in publications?

Please acknowledge GVVC as the Stanford Gene Vector and Virus Core (RRID:SCR_023250).  Stock viruses may be referenced by their name and GVVC ID (ie GVVC-AAV-123) in resource tables.  If GVVC staff provide significant experimental design, data interpretation, or other intellectual contribution, co-authorship in accordance with professional norms for publication credit is expected.

What is your address?

Depends on what you need the address for!

For shipping plasmids or other materials to the GVVC lab:

  • ATTN Stanford Gene Vector and Virus Core
  • ChEM-H/Neuro Building
  • 290 Jane Stanford Way, S078
  • Stanford, CA 94305


For registration as a vendor (please also reference Stanford's IRS W-9 form), we are Stanford University.  Stanford's business address is:

  • The Board of Trustees of the Leland Stanford Junior University
  • 485 Broadway, Mail Code 8838
  • Redwood City, CA 94063


For payment remittance via physical check:

  • Stanford University
  • PO Box 885150
  • Los Angeles, CA 90088-5150

This address is for a lockbox ONLY and cannot be used for other communications.  This is the "Pay to" address that will show up on your invoice.


How do I identify GVVC as a vendor in our ordering system?

For vendor purposes, we are Stanford University.  If your ordering system allows search by Employer ID Number, Stanford's EIN is 94-1156365.  The vendor should be listed as "Stanford University" or "The Board of Trustees of the Leland Stanford Junior University".


Where's my invoice?

Thank you for being so diligent with your payment! 

Stanford's Sponsored Receivables Management office sends out invoices on a monthly basis, exclusively via email, to the email addresses specified in your purchase order form.  This process usually happens mid-month. Stanford needs to create a PTA for each order, so if you're not seeing an invoice, it's possible that the PTA process is still ongoing.  If you need an invoice ASAP (due to grant closing, etc), contact GVVC and we can request an expedited invoice.

Please do not use any pro forma invoice from iLab!  These documents are for internal use and do not accurately reflect the final charges.