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About us

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) is the custodian of four unique collections that consist of expertly preserved, authenticated cell lines and microbial strains of known provenance. Scientists across the world use UKHSA Culture Collection materials to determine the effects of drugs, cosmetics, radiation, viruses, pesticides and household chemicals on human cells. Culture Collection cells and microorganisms are also used worldwide as controls for diagnostic and antimicrobial susceptibility tests and for developing vaccines, anti-cancer drugs and treatments for metabolic diseases.

All the collections are developed, managed and maintained by highly trained, dedicated staff who work in accordance with internationally recognised quality standards including certification to ISO 9001:2015.

Cultures from the collections are used by scientists who need to be sure that the materials they are using are authentic, so the conclusions to their studies are valid and relevant. This is particularly important where research may lead to peer-reviewed publications, for example, in drug discovery and vaccine efficacy studies. Authenticated reference strains are also of paramount importance for clinical diagnostic testing, food, water and environmental microbiology testing and validation studies.

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Supporting the biomedical community with quality, integrity and expertise

The UK Health Security Agency was established by the United Kingdom’s government on 1 October 2021. In August 2020, PHE and NHS Test and Trace were brought together under new leadership arrangements. The benefits of this collaboration continue with the formation of UKHSA which brings together cutting-edge capabilities in analytics, growing testing and tracing capability alongside the spectrum of health protection knowledge and science in PHE. Together, these capabilities form a permanent part of the national protection from threats to the nation’s health.

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) will be responsible for planning, preventing and responding to external health threats, and providing intellectual, scientific and operational leadership at national and local level, as well as on the global stage.

UKHSA will ensure the nation can respond quickly and at greater scale to deal with pandemics and future threats.

UK Health Security Agency Website