• to educate scientists and the public about ATCC holdings and activities via training programs, lectures, publications, databases and other means; and
  • to collect, manage, disseminate, and exchange information applicable to the materials in the collections.

ATCC is affiliated with 22 professional scientific organizations, the primary users of its cultures and services. ATCC policies are determined by a 15-member board of directors composed of representatives from these organizations and the community at-large.

General Facilities

ATCC employs a staff of 220 individuals. The facility is presently located in Rockville, Maryland, on approximately 5 acres of land. The Carlson building (53,000 square feet) was designed and equipped specifically for the study and maintenance of cultures. It houses the six collections, a library, conference/seminar areas, a workshop laboratory, a greenhouse, and Manufacturing. Two other buildings house Sales and Marketing, Shipping, Information Services, and the administrative offices.

ATCC animal facilities are accredited by the American Association for Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care and registered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The greenhouse and all laboratories in which plant pathogens are handled are inspected by state and federal (USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service/Plant Protection and Quarantine) officials for compliance with quarantine regulations. Buildings have restricted access and are monitored 24 hours a day. In emergency situations, an auxiliary generator supplies power to freezers, refrigerators, and other critical instruments. For added security, a duplicate supply of all freeze-dried material is stored in Blacksburg, Virginia; backup liquid nitrogen storage for frozen material is located in Frederick, Maryland.

The ATCC scientific programs are supported by Manufacturing, Sales and Marketing, Bioinformatics, and Publications. Manufacturing occupies almost 7,000 square feet of space. Its staff assists in the freezing and freeze-drying of cultures and maintains the culture inventory. Presently there are more than 500,000 ampules of bacteria and fungi and 400,000 ampules of virus antisera stored in walk-in cold rooms at +4°C and -20°C and 68,000 ampules of viruses stored in mechanical freezers at -70°C. More than 500,000 vials of cell lines, protists, and seed material for other collections are stored in vacuum-insulated freezers cooled with liquid nitrogen at -196°C.

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