Students engage in collaborative research at the Sandbox Lab

Vincent V.C. Woo Sandbox Lab

The Vincent V.C. Woo Sandbox Laboratory will facilitate unprecedented learning and discovery by providing dedicated space and equipment for collaborative pilot projects between engineers and neuroscientists.

Engineers will learn about the needs of brain science, and neuroscientists will have access to newly designed instruments to advance research on the brain. Through these resources, we can advance brain research and treatments by developing novel tools and therapies. 

The laboratory is also intended to be used by approved workshops, training classes (such as the annual neurosciences boot-camp) and product demonstrations as requested by members of the Wu Tsai Neuro community.

The Sandbox Lab offers several unique features to facilitate new collaborations, especially for investigators who do not currently have access to neuroscience-focused research space. 

In addition to a large open plan lab, the Sandbox has:

  • A fully operational tissue culture suite with two biosafety cabinets, CO2 incubators, centrifuge and fluorescent microscope
  • An in vivo procedure suite to allow animal surgeries and procedures
  • Four curtained electrophysiological rig/microscope areas
  • Two “microscope” rooms intended for construction and development of such instruments
  • -20°C and -80°C freezers and 4°C cabinets for temporary sample storage

The Vincent V.C. Woo Sandbox Laboratory is supported by a generous gift from Alice N.Y. Woo and by the Wu Tsai Neurosciences Institute.

Faculty Advisory Committee


John Huguenard, PhD

Professor of Neurology


Todd Coleman, PhD

Associate Professor of Bioengineering and, by courtesy, of Electrical Engineering

Nicholas Melosh

Nicholas Melosh, PhD 

Professor of Materials Science and Engineering

Sergiu P. Pasca

Sergiu Pasca, MD, PhD 

Family Director, Stanford Brain Organogenesis Program, Wu Tsai Neurosciences Institute

Ada Poon

Ada Poon, PhD

Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering


Gordon Wang, PhD

Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Director of Neurosciences Microscopy Services

The Sandbox Laboratory is available to teams of investigators on a case-by-case basis, reviewed and approved by the faculty advisory committee.