American Type Culture Collection
P.O. Box 1549
ATCC is a global nonprofit bioresource center that provides biological products, technical services, and educational programs to private industry, government, and academic organizations around the world. Our mission is to acquire, authenticate, preserve, develop, and distribute biological materials, information, technology, intellectual property, and standards for the advancement, validation, and application of scientific knowledge.
Along with maintaining and distributing biological materials, research is a key part of ATCC's science program. 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.
The bioinformatics (BIF) program carries out research in various areas of biological information management relevant to the ATCC mission. BIF scientists interact with laboratory scientists in microbiology, cell biology, and molecular biology at ATCC and other laboratories throughout the world. It has strong collaborations with a large number of academic institutions, including IB3 and CSI of George Mason University and the Australian National University. Currently BIF scientists have grants and contracts from governmental agencies (NSF, EPA, NIH), industrial and academic institutions.
ATCC was established in 1925 when a committee of scientists recognized a need for a central collection of microorganisms that would serve scientists all over the world. The early years were spent at the McCormick Institute in Chicago until the organization moved to Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., in 1937. As research in the biosciences expanded, ATCC began to diversify its holdings, and as the collections grew ATCC occupied a series of sites, each providing more storage space. ATCC moved to its current state-of-the-art laboratory in 1998.
Our 106,000-square-foot facility has nearly 35,000 square feet of laboratory space with a specialized air handling system and Biosafety Level 2 and 3 containment stations. The repository area houses 8,200 square feet of storage space, which Includes 55 ultra-low mechanical freezers and space for 65 vapor-phase liquid nitrogen freezers. A multi-level security system is in place throughout the facility featuring card access and continuous in-person and electronic monitoring of critical building and equipment functions.
ATCC also occupies space in a nearby building shared with George Mason University. Research laboratories and bioinformatics staff are located there.
ATCC is governed by a Board of Trustees composed of 14 members drawn equally from scientific leaders and the community at large who advise the president on organizational business matters. A Board of Scientific Directors composed of representatives from affiliated scientific societies advises the collections.
Last Updated: 04-18-05