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The ATCC Center for Translational Microbiology

The ATCC Center for Translational Microbiology (ATCC-CTM) is a center of excellence in microbiology established by The American Type Culture Collection (ATCC) and the Institute for Life Science Entrepreneurship (ILSE).  Its mission is to advance innovative approaches, new technologies and scientific discoveries in microbiology to fuel basic scientific insights in the field, as well as directly and indirectly generate commercially useful products, tools and services.  The Center is uniquely structured to bring together basic researchers from academia with applied scientists from industry, entrepreneurs and business concerns, in an environment that facilitates the translation of early innovation in microbiology into successful outcomes.  The Center seeks to become a world-class research organization centered on cutting-edge technologies shaping the future of microbiology.

Research at the CTM will fall under one of four broad programmatic areas of expertise, (i) microbiomes, (ii) clinical microbiology – antimicrobial resistance,  (iii) genomics and bioinformatics analyses, and (iv) Industrial Microbiology.  Research within and across these themes focuses from a microbiological perspective on significant problems facing society and the economy.



Role of bacterial population in health and disease,
Microbial Systems and

Clinical Microbiology

Multidrug resistant pathogens,
Diagnostics and


Big data analytics,
Genome mining and

Industrial Microbiology

Biocatalysis, Custom panels
and Natural product services

These four programmatic areas encompass many of the main sectors of biotechnology involving microbial sources, with research projects expected to traverse these areas in different ways, at multiple levels, and with specific technical requirements.  Increasingly, cutting-edge research projects in microbiology are dependent upon the strategies, know-how, microbial resources, tools and services in practice in each of these disciplines, whether searching for new targets for discovery of new drugs and biologics, design of diagnostic tools based on the microbiome, new enzymes and new-generation biofuels, high valued products from bio-waste, or environmentally sustainable products.

The ATCC has provided funding for initial R&D projects, and ILSE is providing its ecosystem integration platform, through its Academic Research Network and Consulting Network, and an advanced, applied technology platform through its Core Lab Network, in addition to day-to-day operational management.

  • Initial research at the Center focuses on the development of much needed next generation tools and technologies to enable the renaissance in microbiology research.
  • A legal framework has been constructed that permits multiple academic and commercial research programs to co-exist and tap into shared capabilities and expertise of the Center and ILSE.
  • Additional funding is being sought from grants, external research collaborations and partnerships and from follow-on ATCC investment.
  • A Scientific Advisory Board, comprised of leading scientists in the microbiology field, is being formed to help guide the research direction of the Center within the context of biomedicine and biomedical research, bio-manufacturing, the environment, agriculture, energy, food, veterinary, and other industries that will significantly impact science and the field of microbiology.

To learn about the ATCC-CTM Leadership Team, click here.

To learn about the ATCC-CTM Advisory Board members, click here.