Vector Core

The Vector Core facility is available for use by Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) -approved investigators. The Vector Core team is able to provide intellectual and technical support. Please note, all cell lines must be certified as mycoplasma negative prior to use in the facility.

About the Vector Core

The Vector Core provides assistance in the design and construction viral vectors, as well as in the production of viral particles for gene-modified in vitro as well as in vivo studies. We currently can help design or produce vectors for experiments involving retrovirus, lentivirus, HSV-1, and AAV. We have numerous viral vectors that can be used by the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and USC communities. The Vector Core also provides consulting services to help researchers identify their gene transfer needs, determine the best way to produce gene-modified cells, and to assist in experimental troubleshooting. To this end, members of the Vector Core provide a broad range of core competencies that will benefit our hospital researchers.

Grant Submissions

In most instances, the Vector Core will provide support to our principal investigators for the development of peer-reviewed grant submissions.

Contributions to Manuscripts

Vector Core members will participate actively in the development of manuscripts as needed.

Vector Core Research Facility

Smith Research Tower
4546 Sunset Blvd., Room 101
Los Angeles, CA  90027

Vector Core Contact

Faculty Director, Rusty Lansford, PhD

New Clients

The Vector Core offers a wide range of services, some of which are tailored to the specific needs of the client. As a result, we find it beneficial for new clients to undergo an introductory consultation with the manager prior to the onset of regular service.

To arrange a consultation please email Rusty Lansford, MD with the following information:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Contact number
  • Brief description of the services you are interested in

Equipment and Shared Space

Please contact Rusty Lansford, MD for information about the lab and to become a registered user of the equipment and space. An approved IBC from your institution is required to work in the Vector Core or to receive active viruses from the Vector Core.

Collection of Complete Media

Perishable reagents such as complete media may be collected once email conformation of the order is received. Media must be collected within one week of receiving email conformation. Uncollected material will be discarded and charged for at the regular rate.

Other Items

Frozen cells, viral vectors and virus may be collected once email conformation of the order is received. These items must be collected within one month of receiving email conformation. Orders that are not collected within the one month holding period will be cancelled and subject to a $10 storage fee.

All investigators at the Vector Core must meet general and lab safety requirements.

Please read and understand the following:
Vector Core Access Policy
Cell Handling Procedures
Contamination Prevention Procedures
Procedures for Biosafety Cabinets

Acknowledging the Vector Core

Clients receiving services from the Children's Hospital Los Angeles Vector Core are required to acknowledge the facility according to the posted instructions on the Acknowledging the Core web page. The following text is provided for use in publications:

This work was supported by the Children's Hospital Los Angeles Vector Core Facility. The Vector Core is a Children’s Hospital Los Angeles funded shared laboratory.

General Requirements

All investigators must have up-to-date lab safety and bio hazardous material training and permission from their Principal Investigator.

Cell Culture

All investigators must have prior cell culture experience and up to date blood borne pathogen training in order to work with living cells. We also recommend individuals working with human cells undergo vaccination for Hepatitis B. Training in cell culture techniques can be arranged by contacting Laura-Marie Nucho in the Stem Cell Core.

Regulatory Requirements and Transfer Forms

MTA Instructions

For questions on the MTA submission process contact Jessica Rousset in the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles Technology Transfer office.

Children's Hospital Los Angeles Incoming Materials Transfer Agreement

Weekend and Holiday Work

The shared labs at the Vector Core facility will remain open to investigators throughout weekends and all national holidays. Investigators are responsible for tending their own cells and experiments during holidays and weekends.

Please note that the Vector Core staff will not be available during holidays or weekends to provide cells, reagents or technical assistance. It is the responsibility of the investigator to place and collect orders in a timely manner and to ensure they have sufficient cells and reagents for the vacation period.


Charges for supplies, cells, equipment usage, consultation and technical assistance are billed monthly. Billing is compiled by the Vector Core manager and invoices are issued by the Children's Hospital Los Angeles Research Operations and Facilities Department by email at the end of each month.

Payment Information

Children's Hospital Los Angeles Clients

Please provide a grant number that the materials can be billed to. Charges are compiled at the end of the month and sent to the Research Operations and Facilities Department. An invoice will be generated and emailed to the Principal Investigator for review prior to the grant being charged.

Non-Children's Hospital Los Angeles Clients

Charges are compiled at the end of the month and sent to the Children's Hospital Los Angeles financial department. An invoice will be generated, emailed to the Principal Investigator and a check sent to the Research Operations and Facilities Department.