Tech Refinement and Innovation Lab

The mission of the Technique Refinement and Innovation Lab (TRI-Lab) is to provide support for implementing new and emerging technologies, techniques and best practices in animal research that benefit both the wellbeing of research animals and the effectiveness and efficiency of research.

Humane Experimental Technique

The VSC, and Stanford are committed to providing the highest level of care and wellbeing to research animals on campus. While health and husbandry are essential to good wellbeing and good science, experimental technique (how the experiments themselves are designed and carried out) is equally important. From aspects of housing and breeding protocols, to the particular measures chosen and how they are implemented, to experimental design and statistics – the experimental technique can have an enormous impact on the wellbeing of the animal, on the quality of the data generated, and on the ultimate cost, time, and outcome of the research. Unlike health and husbandry, which is overseen by the VSC, experimental technique is overseen by the individual researcher. The TRI-Lab works with individual researchers to find opportunities to optimize technique for the benefit of the animals and the science.


We are available for consulting and collaborative support in any of the main areas of technique refinement (for general inquiries) in basic and translation animal research. The lab also provides a variety of services.

Biostatistics Support and experimental design optimization

We have particular expertise in high-power designs, and epidemiological, data mining, Monte-Carlo and simulation studies. We can provide consultation on design and sample size justification for APLAC (IACUC) protocol submission; help with data analysis after the fact (including response to paper review); or a full service. Contact for more information.

Apparatus design and data acquisition system design

With particular expertise in the design of automated apparatus and data-acquisition systems, we can design and build custom apparatus, including electronics and software for a wide variety of applications. Request information at

3D printing service

The lab runs a high-definition 3D plastic printer. Printed parts are water tight, air tight plastic (not resin), providing superior physical and mechanical properties over other processes. We provide basic error checking and printing of STL files provided by other labs, and we can also provide a full design service. Request information at .

For more information, to get a quote or to place an order, please visit the following link on the Stanford Core services (ilabs).

Behavioral management, animal breeding and animal wellbeing

We provide a trouble-shooting service for behavioral, breeding, and welfare issues in animal colonies managed by investigators, as part of the VSC support services. We help troubleshoot particular problems (e.g. changes in breeding performance); as well as providing impact/benefit assessment for changes in housing, handling and enrichment. Request information:

Breeding colony management services

Breeding colony management services covers day-to-day management and recordkeeping for your colony. Services include Mating, Separating, Weaning, Genotyping, Transfers, and Euthanasia. For further information please contact Dr. Joseph Garner.

Once your lab is set-up with the service, you may request actions via the Breeding Colony Management Assistance Request Form » (SUNet ID is required)


The Veterinary Oath

"Being admitted to the profession of veterinary medicine, I solemnly swear to use my scientific knowledge and skills for the benefit of society through the protection of animal health and welfare, the prevention and relief of animal suffering, the conservation of animal resources, the promotion of public health, and the advancement of medical knowledge."