02 May Kevin McCluskey Awarded 2021 J. Roger Porter Award
EAU CLAIRE, Wis., US – May 2, 2023
Kevin McCluskey has been awarded the 2021 J. Roger Porter Award in recognition of his outstanding work in support of microbial culture collections when he was curator of the Fungal Genetic Stock Center (FGSC) at three universities – the University of Kansas Medical Center, the University of Missouri and Kansas State University.
The award – managed by the U.S. Culture Collection Network (USCCN) – recognizes outstanding efforts by a scientist who has demonstrated the importance of microbial biodiversity through sustained curatorial or stewardship activities for a major resource used by the scientific community.
During his two decades (from 1995 to 2018) as curator of the FGSC, McCluskey significantly raised the quality and profile of the collection. Besides serving the needs of classical genetics researchers, the FGSC collection also started providing services and materials for emerging fields such as comparative genomics, plant-microbe interactions, biomass processing for biofuel, and industrial biology.
Under McCluskey’s curatorship, the FGSC collection more than doubled in size, distributed over 26,000 individual strains and over 500,000 gene deletion mutant strains arrayed in 96-well plates.
McCluskey also contributed to many improvements to the FGSC operations, including pioneering community best practices, developing standard operating protocols, and implementing a modern database.
McCluskey utilized the collection’s fungal strains in his own research program involving gene discovery, mutant sequencing, and whole genome analysis. He also engaged in numerous FGSC outreach and educations activities by working with high-school, undergraduate, and post graduate students to promote culture collection careers.
Beyond FGSC, McCluskey was the Principal Investigator of a NSF grant awarded in 2012, which was used for the first phase of USCCN. Under his leadership, the USCCN brought together curators of U.S. bacterial, fungal and algal collections to explore issues for collection management such as databases, genome sequencing, off-site preservation, and the Nagoya Protocol. This led to many collaborations among U.S. culture collections personnel and the exchange of information that resulted in publications to share best management practices with the microbiology community.
McCluskey served on the executive board of the World Federation for Culture Collections (WFCC) from 2010 to 2016 and was vice-president of the WFCC from 2016 to 2019. Since 2018, McCluskey has been a researcher at Bolt Threads, a California biotech company that develops fungal-based materials for the fashion and beauty industries.
About the J. Porter Award
The prestigious J. Roger Porter Award recognizes outstanding efforts by a scientist who has demonstrated the importance of microbial biodiversity through sustained curatorial or stewardship activities for a major resource used by the scientific community. It honors the memory of the internationally known microbiologist J. Roger Porter (1909-1979) and his remarkable contributions to science. More information including purpose, eligibility, nomination process, and past laureates are available at usccn.org/porter-award
The United States Culture Collection Network (USCCN) is a Research Coordination Network supported by the U.S. National Science Foundation through grants #1534564 and #2124633. The mission of the USCCN is to facilitate the safe and responsible utilization of microbial resources for research, education, industry, medicine, and agriculture for the betterment of humankind. For more information visit usccn.org and follow the network on Twitter and LinkedIn.
+1 916 840 8801