Ethical Standards for Obtaining Human Materials

For more than 85 years, ATCC has been a leading provider of biological materials and standards for the life sciences community. We have the largest, most diverse collection of biological and microbiological materials and cell lines, and these materials are used in laboratories in academia, government, and industry around the world. These cultures have been preserved because they have characteristics that are vital to the advancement of scientific research and development.

ATCC maintains nearly 4,000 cell lines that are invaluable for public health research, including lines used for the study of cancer, such as HeLa cells, as well as over 70,000 microbial cultures. The items in our repository are critical to the discovery, invention, and development of new, improved and emerging advances in the biological sciences arena.

Throughout our 85-year history, we have always adhered to the highest ethical standards for obtaining cell lines and other materials from our biomedical research partners. As requirements for procurement of human biospecimens have changed through the years, ATCC's policies also have evolved to ensure that these standards are met. We continue to uphold and improve on these standards to ensure the integrity of our activities and the materials that are entrusted to us.

True to our mission, ATCC provides these reference tools and reagents to serve the needs of academic institutions and research organizations around the world in their pursuit of solutions for disease, food scarcity, and new energy sources.