UMKC researcher elected to international biology organization executive board

Kevin McCluskey, Ph.D.

Kevin McCluskey, Ph.D.

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.”

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