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ATCC Examined the Importance of High-quality Controls in Assay Design and Development During the Association for Molecular Pathology (AMP) 2013 Annual Meeting

Manassas, VA (PRWEB) November 25, 2013

The use of well-defined controls in assay development is essential for determining the reliability and reproducibility of data obtained from molecular applications. ATCC spoke out on this topic during its first participation at the Corporate Workshop Day at the AMP 2013 Annual Meeting, emphasizing the importance of using authenticated and highly characterized biomaterials for assay development and verification. More than 75 researchers from pharmaceutical and molecular diagnostics companies attended the workshop. The presentation was divided into two parts, first focusing on controls for genetic mutations in cancer biology, followed by a discussion on the detailed characterization of ATCC infectious disease strains and nucleic acid controls.

Fang Tian, Ph.D., Lead Scientist for ATCC Cell Systems, led the discussion by describing the rapidly changing landscape of diagnostics, including the vast amount of human genetic data currently available via open-access. Moreover, with the development of smaller, faster, and more affordable sequencing technologies, investigators now require a stable and renewable source of controls, such as fully characterized and authenticated cell lines. To meet these needs, ATCC organized Tumor Cell Panels representing cell lines grouped by tissue type and annotated with published gene mutation data. Further, Dr. Tian explained, “ATCC is not only pairing cell lines with published gene mutation data, we are also performing extensive laboratory analyses to confirm the presence, stability, and expression of genetic mutations using tools like sequencing, PCR, and Western Blot.”

Liz Kerrigan, Director of Standards at ATCC noted, “There are a lot of choices for controls in research, but it’s imperative to obtain controls from a reliable source; knowing how they were produced and how identities were verified – that’s the importance of authentication.” ATCC maintains a rigorous quality control program under ISO/IEC 17025, ensuring the identity and purity of biological materials. Cultures housed within the ATCC repository are managed under a seed stock banking concept, which limits passage and allows for strict quality control testing to be performed on both seed and distribution materials. In addition to providing supplementary testing for tumor cell lines, ATCC also performs extensive analyses on geographically diverse infectious disease isolates to determine serotype, toxinotype, and multidrug-resistance (MDR) profiles.

As the tools available to laboratories change, ATCC is adapting to make it easier for investigators to locate genetic and phenotypic data related to the controls they need to challenge assay design and verify results. ATCC offers a growing list of Tumor Cell Panels, Genetic Alteration Panels, infectious disease and multidrug-resistant strains, synthetic and native nucleic acids, and Certified Reference Materials (CRM) – including the newest KRAS-mutation CRMs – for assay development, inclusivity/exclusivity testing, and Limits of Detection (LOD).

Interviews with the speakers and the workshop presentation can be made available. Additional information about the extensive portfolio of ATCC cells and microbiological materials can be found at

About the Speakers
Liz Kerrigan
Liz Kerrigan is the Director of Standards at ATCC in Manassas, Virginia. Liz serves as the ATCC representative to the United States Pharmacopeial (USP) Convention, ANSI (American National Standards Institute), CLSI (Clinical Laboratory Standards Institute), and the AOAC/DHS SPADA (Stakeholder Panel on Agent Detection Assays). She is a member of PDA, ASM, USP, ISBER and AMP.

Fang Tian, Ph.D.
Dr. Fang Tian is the Lead Scientist for ATCC Cell Systems with extensive experience in cell biology and molecular biology. She has a strong interest in developing cell lines and cell line panels, focusing on molecular pathologies, cell signaling pathways, and genetic alterations. Dr. Tian was a Research Fellow at the Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School. She conducted her postdoctoral research at the Hillman Cancer Institute, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

About ATCC
ATCC serves and supports the scientific community with industry-standard products and innovative solutions. With the world’s largest and most diverse collection of human, animal and plant cell lines, molecular genomic tools, microorganisms and biological products, ATCC is a trusted biological resource for the worldwide research community. Together, the people of ATCC share in its mission to acquire, authenticate, preserve, develop, and distribute biological materials and information for the advancement of scientific knowledge. ATCC is a non-profit organization with headquarters in Manassas, VA.

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