While focused on supporting the scientific community, ATCC activities range widely, from repository-related operations to providing specialized services, conducting in-house R&D and intellectual property management.
ATCC serves U.S. and international researchers by characterizing cell lines, bacteria, viruses, fungi and protozoa, as well as developing and evaluating assays and techniques for validating research resources and preserving and distributing biological materials to the public and private sector research communities. Our management philosophy emphasizes customer satisfaction, value addition, cost-effective operations and competitive benchmarking for all areas of our enterprise.
Research and Development
Aside from its role as a resource for biodiversity and preserver of genetic stability in the biological materials it holds, ATCC conducts independent research in support of its mission. Staff scientists conduct research on both collection-oriented and grant-supported topics, including improved storage and characterization methods, authentication of standards, descriptions of new species, genomics, in vitro cell biology and disease diagnosis and prevention.
Scientists at the organization continuously work to generate thorough characterization information for ATCC organisms and cell lines, increasing the utility of the products for other researchers. A significant emphasis within ATCC’s science program is on translational research — the work needed to transform basic science discoveries into products. Researchers at ATCC use modern techniques in molecular biology, genomics, proteomics, immunology and bioinformatics to search for biomarkers associated with diseases, develop new assays and evaluate new authentication and preservation technologies.
ATCC biological standards are vital to assuring reliability of research results, reproducibility of experimentation and consistency in the scientific method. Standards from ATCC also help scientists in a wide range of industries ensure safety and quality in their products. Our reagents are cited as standards by such federal agencies as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, as well as organizations such as AOAC International, the Clinical Laboratory Standards Institute, the U.S. Pharmacopeia, and the World Health Organization. ATCC-produced standards are used by in a host of applications relevant to the lives of citizens, including in developing therapeutic and diagnostic products, testing the quality of food, water and environmental samples, making accurate medical diagnoses and obtaining sound forensic information.
ATCC also seeks to leverage its resources and expertise to offer customized services to the scientific community. ATCC's 85-plus-year history in preserving biological materials enables the organization to safely store valuable biological materials for others. ATCC offers intellectual property management services as well as a patent deposit and safe deposit service. ATCC's emphasis on supply chain management and chain-of-custody allows the organization to help other groups by operating biological repositories on their behalf.
Distribution and Technical Support
ATCC has unparalleled experience in the packing and shipping of biological materials, with a dedicated force of customer service representatives who handle phone and Web contacts and a separate technical support staff handling requests for technical assistance from customers. ATCC makes tens of thousands of shipments per year, distributing materials to U.S. scientists from the Manassas facility and to international researchers through a global network of authorized distributors.
ATCC is overseen by a Board of Directors composed of 12 members drawn from leaders in the scientific and business communities who advise the president on organizational business matters. The day-to-day operations of the organization are managed by an executive governance team and by the ATCC President and CEO to ensure compliance with ethical, regulatory and quality best practices.