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ECACC Retrospective - A word from Jim Cooper, ECACC Operational Lead

A word from Jim Cooper, ECACC Operational Lead

I joined ECACC in 1990 when it was a small business unit of a dozen staff and five small laboratories based at the Public Health Laboratory Service’s Centre for Applied Microbiology and Research (CAMR) at Porton Down. Over the intervening years ECACC has grown significantly and amalgamated with other Culture Collections whilst our parent organisation has evolved through various incarnations to its current status as the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA).  Against those changes the ECACC brand has grown and established itself as one of the most renowned international suppliers of authenticated cell cultures and providers of cell culture training.       

During 2020-21 ECACC played a key role in supporting the UKHSA Covid Operations. From the very first days of the pandemic many ECACC staff volunteered for the Covid response and were pivotal to the UK’s research and development efforts to support diagnostic testing, virus identification, characterisation, surveillance, and vaccine development activities. ECACC cell lines were also essential to UKHSA SARS Cov-2 research activities which have now established novel workstreams. In 2022 we entered the living with COVID phase and the ECACC team have resumed business as usual activities. Consequently, our teams have very busy starting to rebank our cell lines and update our strategy documentation. 

I’m honoured to be ECACC’s Interim Operational Lead I am looking forward to a very positive 2023. This will include a strong focus on investing and growing the ECACC workforce, developing infrastructure to further improve the ECACC manufacturing and QC workstreams, building and maintaining our external collaborations and the re-introduction of the cell culture training courses.

Thank you for being an ECACC customer and on behalf of everyone at ECACC and in the UKHSA Culture Collections may I wish you a happy and peaceful New Year.


written by Jim Cooper

ECACC Operational Lead

December 2022

December 2023