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Green, dumpling-shaped Trichomoniasis parasite with tails.

Biological Resources of the ATCC Protistology Collection

September 06, 2012, at 12:00 PM ET


Protists are eukaryotic microorganisms commonly studied due to their ecological relevance in aquatic food chains and their impact on human health. Protistology research and comparative studies are dependent on the accessibility of authenticated biological standards. To meet this need, the Protistology Collection at ATCC houses the largest and most diverse repository of protist cultures in the world. The primary role of the collection has been the acquisition, authentication, preservation, and distribution of reference strains. Characterization of deposited cultures includes a variety of tests such as viability, purity, phenotypic properties, and genotypic analysis. Additionally, over the last decade, resources within the collection have expanded to include genomic DNA. This presentation will provide an overview of biological resources available in the ATCC Protistology Collection, a discussion on the methods of characterization, benefits of depositing, current research projects, and future perspectives.

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Robert Molestina, headshot.

Robert Molestina, PhD

Lead Scientist, ATCC

Robert Molestina, PhD, is a Lead Scientist at ATCC. He has a background in scientific research in infectious diseases and execution of government-funded programs. Dr. Molestina serves as the subject matter expert in research and development activities in the Protistology and Malaria Laboratories which include, among others, the development of assays for molecular authentication of parasites, optimization of culture and cryopreservation protocols, and implementation of animal models for parasite propagation. In addition to managing parasitic protozoa and malaria resources under the BEI program, Dr. Molestina serves as the point of contact for arthropod vector resources offered through the BEI repository. His publication record for the last 20 years covers a diversity of scientific interests, including bacterial pathogenesis, molecular parasitology, eukaryotic microbiology, and proteomics of infectious disease.