Nov 29, 2010    #123
Contact: John Austin

UMKC researcher elected to international biology organization executive board

Kevin McCluskey joins global leaders in culture collection and collaboration

University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) School of Biological Sciences (SBS) Research Associate Professor Kevin McCluskey, Ph.D., was recently elected to the World Federation for Culture Collections (WFCC) Executive Board. The Board includes leading scientists from countries around the world, including Belgium, Brazil, China, Germany, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and Russia. McCluskey is the only current Board member representing the United States.

McCluskey is the curator of the UMKC Fungal Genetics Stock Center (FGSC) housed at the School of Biological Sciences. The FGSC is a collection of research materials, with emphasis on fungi, used for global research in genetics, cell biology, medicine and plant pathology. Founded in 1960 at Dartmouth University, the FGSC distributes material to research laboratories across the globe. Since moving to UMKC in 2004, the FGSC has doubled in size and has distributed more than 360,000 cultures worldwide.

"UMKC's Fungal Genetics Stock Center is the go-to place if you need the raw materials for basic or applied research into fungal genetics," McCluskey said. "From South Africa to Iceland, labs all around the world request strains from the center, saving scientists the months of work it might take to develop those strains themselves."

The WFCC is a multidisciplinary commission of the International Union of Biological Sciences (IUBS) and a Federation within the International Union of Microbiological Societies (IUMS). The WFCC is concerned with the collection, authentication, maintenance and distribution of cultures of microorganisms and cultured cells. Its aim is to promote and support the establishment of culture collections and related services, to provide liaison and an information network between the collections and their users, and to ensure the long-term perpetuation of important collections.

"This is the highest position I have held and is one of international significance," McCluskey said. "WFCC members are involved in the developing bioeconomy and have a significant impact on pioneering breakthroughs in biomedicine and biotechnology."

About the UMKC School of Biological Sciences

The mission of the School of Biological Sciences is to provide outstanding undergraduate and graduate education in modern biology and to advance our understanding of molecular biology through basic research. The school comprises two academic Divisions — Cell Biology & Biophysics and Molecular Biology & Biochemistry. The School's pioneering programs in molecular genetics, structural biology and proteomics nurture the intellectual capital necessary to fuel the economic development of biotechnology in Kansas City. Learn more about the School at or find us on Facebook.

About the University of Missouri-Kansas City

The University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC), one of four University of Missouri campuses, is a public university serving more than 15,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional students. UMKC engages with the community and economy based on a four-part mission: life and health sciences; visual and performing arts; urban issues and education; and a vibrant learning and campus life experience. For more information about UMKC, visit You can also find us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and watch us on YouTube.

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