Current President of the WFCC (2017-2020)
Dr Kurtböke is an internationally reputed actinomycetologist and she has been in the field of biodiscovery since 1982. She has been part of the teams in eminent pharmaceutical companies since 1983 in Europe, USA and Australia where new antibiotics were discovered or yield improvements/high throughput screening events were conducted. She was one of the scientists who took part in the establishment of the Australia's largest bioresource library at AMRAD Discovery Technologies Pty. Ltd. in Melbourne, Australia where over million screening events took place with compounds progressing into clinical trials.
Her most significant contribution has been the development of a novel isolation technique that selectively cultures rare actinomycetes with industrial importance such as the production of new antibiotics. Technique was adopted and applied by leading pharmaceutical companies since the 1990s. She has established bio-resource libraries for joint screening ventures with leading pharmaceutical companies in different settings since 1990s. Dr Kurtböke’s methodological strength in the field of actinomycetology played a key role in the detection of novel actinomycetes and contributed towards the establishment of yet another microbial library of bioactive actinomycetes at the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC) in Queensland, Australia since 2001. The library has been used for research and teaching activities at the USC as well as in partnership with regional, national and international collaborators for discovery of new drugs, agrobiologicals, enzymes and environmentally-friendly biotechnological innovations.
Dr Kurtböke has been a member of the Biodiscovery Industry Panel established by the AusBiotech and DEHWA which networks Australian biodiscovery operators. She was also one of the founding members of the Australian Microbial Resources Research Network currently linked with the Atlas of Living Australia and implements a Biolomics system for microbial data sharing. She has also been an active member of the World Federation of Culture Collections (WFCC) including serving as the Vice-President of the Federation (2010-2013). She is currently being the President of the Federation (2017-2020).