Lab Life and Culture

The Ricci Lab is dedicated to the training and advancement of all personnel. Our goal is to develop independent, creative leaders in their respective fields.

We provide strong technical training within the laboratory and have a high bar for data quality. We also expect well rounded scientists who can select and interpret papers, who can analyze data, generate figures, present and write effectively.

We provide multiple opportunities within the lab for practice, including journal clubs, individual and group lab meetings, presentations at departmental retreats as well as at local and international meetings. Stanford also provides many opportunities for professional development.

We expect individuals entering our laboratory to be highly motivated with a strong work ethic. Team work is a core component of our laboratory.

Lab Member Expectations

  1. Work hard, play hard. Balance is important, yet oftentimes necessary imbalances occur, so when you need to get the work done, do it and when you need some recovery time, do that too.
  2. Communication is critical to success and typically it is the disagreements that lead to the most fruitful findings. Speak your mind, be open to feedback and recognize that feedback can come from anywhere and anyone.
  3. For (2) to happen we must all promote and respect the differences between us and we must all recognize that individual success and laboratory success are connected.
  4. Pay attention to detail. There are no small steps and there are no cutting corners.
  5. Own your work, be proactive and be bold.
  6. Work together, we are a team with different strengths and weaknesses. We do not compete amongst ourselves, we have a world and nature to compete with. We are each better by working together.


  1. Identify the most important question driving a hypothesis and design the most direct experiment to answer that question.
  2. Develop technologies that allow (1) to happen.
  3. Assume nothing.
  4. Believe nothing.
  5. Understand every detail of your experiment.
  6. Embrace failure, it may be the most important thing you do today.
  7. Let the data tell the story, it is the only story that matters.

Training Goals

  1. To establish unique projects that provide the training and guidance needed for an individual to successfully move to whatever the next stage of their career may be. Projects are mutually designed to fulfill the research goals and establish each trainee as a leader in their respective field of auditory research upon its completion.
  2. To use scientific excellence as a tool to train independent thinkers and to provide them with the tools and expertise needed to move on to their career of choice. Creating well rounded scientists is important and so communication skills (both oral and written) as well as networking skills are a part of the training plan.

A strong laboratory community is critical for the success of each member. Each person brings a unique set of skills and a very individual way of thinking about problems. Bringing these disparate approaches to scientific questions is a powerful way to move forward. Building trust and cooperation amongst strong-willed people with different training, different cultures and different priorities is something that is actively promoted and nurtured. Similarly, a work-life balance and a mind-body balance is critical for long term success as well as health and happiness. To these ends our laboratory regularly sponsors events to build community and wellness, while allowing everyone to blow off a little steam and have some fun. Events from bowling to wine tasting to rafting and of course going to sporting events are some of the things we do as a group, typically driven by whatever a given lab member likes to do. 



Raftin' was rowdy

One is different

Ladies rock the white water

Old people can raft too

Fishin in the Bayou

Football newbies

Pac12 championship

Pac12 championship

Tennis at Stanford, HOT!

Indoor baseball

Athletics was a cold night

Takes a village

More football

A motley crew

Courtside at the Warriors



A little New Orleans in Palo Alto

Wine tasting at Ridge

Shrimp for my friends

Tony cooks meat

Boiling the bugs

Mike dishes it out

Tasty Tahoe

Indian food in Tahoe

Alex knows breakfast



Paintball fun, or "Get the PI"

Mike's art exhibit

Tahoe stroll

Tahoe Gondola

Autofeh's feast

Snow at Tahoe

Sunny in Tahoe

Lake not quite frozen