ATCC and The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research to Facilitate Workshop at ISBER Annual Meeting

Subject matter experts to share best practices for utilizing pre-clinical tools to speed progress toward a cure for Parkinson’s disease

MANASSAS, Va., (May 8, 2017) — Subject matter experts from ATCC, a global leader in biological materials development, management and standards, will partner with The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research (MJFF) to facilitate a corporate workshop at the International Society for Biological and Environmental Repositories (ISBER) 2017 Annual Meeting in Toronto, May 9-12.

ATCC’s Liz Kerrigan, director of Commercial Partnerships and Standards, and Maryellen de Mars, Ph.D., senior director of Standards Resource Center, will join forces with MJFF Associate Director of Research Programs Nicole Polinski, Ph.D., to present “MJFF and ATCC Partnering for Success” on Wednesday, May 10 at 7:45 a.m. The workshop will focus on best practices for providing high quality biological materials and services to the global scientific community, and will discuss the MJFF Pre-clinical Tools Program designed to promote the development and accessibility of critical research tools for better understanding of Parkinson’s disease pathogenic mechanisms, and new and improved treatments.

Parkinson’s is a chronic, degenerative neurological disorder that affects one in 100 people over age 60. Recent research indicates that as many as one million Americans, and more than five million people worldwide, live with Parkinson’s disease. In 2016, ATCC released three cell lines for investigating biological processes associated with LRRK2, a key Parkinson’s disease genetic target. The Michael J. Fox Foundation funded the production and validation of these cell lines. ATCC also continues to work with MJFF to provide additional research tools, and is currently working on the production, validation, storage and future distribution of Parkin-expressing HeLa cells, which will be available later in 2017.

“Research tools and reference reagents enable scientists to gain insight into the mechanisms of disease, and are critical in the development of new treatments,” said Dr. Raymond Cypess, ATCC's Chairman and CEO. “These tools and reagents are also critical in recruiting scientists to work in specific disease areas. As partners to the scientific community for more than 90 years, ATCC is proud to join MJFF at ISBER to discuss the significance of these tools and the need to increase access and availability for the global research community.”

“The Michael J. Fox Foundation’s collaboration with ATCC delivers vital pre-clinical tools to the Parkinson’s research community to address field-wide challenges and advance disease understanding,” said Nicole Polinski, Ph.D., associate director of research programs at MJFF. “We are pleased to join ATCC at ISBER to highlight the importance of these tools in developing therapeutic strategies and speeding PD research.”

About ATCC

ATCC is a leader in biological materials management supporting the scientific community and government with research and development, products, and services in support of global health issues. With a history of innovation spanning more than 90 years, ATCC offers the world’s largest and most diverse collection of human and animal cell lines, microorganisms, biological products, and standards. ATCC is a non-profit organization with headquarters in Manassas, Va.