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Tiantian Zhang Elected to CryoFellow 2021

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Welcome to our New Associate Editors

Please join us in welcoming Dr. Nucharin Songsasen and Dr. Kelvin Brockbank as our new Associate Editors for Cryobiology. Alongside Barbara Reed and Wim Wolkers, this brings the total number of Associate Editors to four. 

  Dr. Nucharin Songsasen joined the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI) in 2002. She has led the Global Canid Conservation program within SCBI since 2002, expanding the program's efforts from the laboratory to field conservation in countries such as Brazil, Thailand, and MyanmarHer laboratory focuses on developing technologies to grow ovarian follicles from domestic dogs and cats in vitro as models for preserving genetics from wild canids and felids. In December 2018 Dr. Songsasen became the head of the Center for Species Survival within SCBI. Dr. Songsasen has been a member of the Cryobiology editorial board since 2012.
     
  Dr. Kelvin Brockbank is the Founder and CEO of Tissue Testing Technologies, Research Professor of Bioengineering at Clemson University, and Adjunct Professor of Regenerative Medicine and Cell Biology at the Medical University of South Carolina. His research interests include cell, tissue and organ cryopreservation for test systems and transplantation and manufacturing methods for cell-based tissue engineered therapy products. Dr. Brockbank has been a member of the Cryobiology editorial board since 2016.

SfC Participates in First ATP-Bio Summit

On September 13, SfC President, Adam Higgins, and Executive Director, Nicole Evans, attended the first ATP-Bio Summit. The summit introduced ATP-Bio key faculty, industry, NGO and non-profit members, and outlined thrust areas such as Biological Engineering, Controlling Water During Freezing, and Rapid and Uniform Rewarming.

On October 12-13 ATP-BIo will be hosting a year one summary and virtual NSF site visit. This involves 2 days of presentations by ATP-Bio and questions from the NSF and responses from ATP-Bio. 

Society for Cryobiology Joins ATP-Bio

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Allison Hubel Elected to CryoFellow 2021

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Leadership Opportunities

The nominations committee is now inviting expressions of interest from all Society members in good standing for the following positions

  • President-Elect (2022 - 2023) --> President (2024-2025)
  • Treasurer (2022 - 2023)
  • Secretary (2022 - 2023)
  • 3x Governors (2022 - 2024) 
The President-Elect, Treasurer, and Secretary form the Society for Cryobiology's Executive Committee, along with the President and Executive Director. They hold monthly meetings to discuss current Society business. They also partake in the quarterly Board of Governors meetings, and other duties outlined below. Specifics relating to these roles can be found in the Society's bylaws

Society for Cryobiology Governors take an active role in the decision making that guides the Society. Governors participate in quarterly Board meetings and take on leadership responsibilities in various Society committees. They may also be involved in leadership roles in other Society activities of their interest, for example the Annual Meeting, or ad hoc projects. 

To express your interest or for an informal discussion regarding the various roles please email Executive Director, Nicole Evans. Please note all nominations are subject to approval by the nominations committee. This does not affect your right to nomination by petition as outlined in the Society's bylaws

If your candidate nomination is accepted or you are nominated by petition you will be required to provide a detailed biography, statement outlining your vision for the Society, and a photograph for the election materials. 

The deadline to express your interest in standing as a candidate for Governor is Monday August 16, 2021. The election will be held October 11-25, 2021.

ISBER Releases Position Statement for Management and Use of Ultra Low Temperature Freezers

Vancouver-January 12, 2021--The International Society for the Biological and Environmental Repositories (ISBER), which represents professional experts in biobanking, ultra-low temperature (ULT) storage, and cold chain management, has released its position statement listing key practices health agencies should consider to support the COVID-19 vaccine distribution with dedicated ULT freezers. The document, titled "Ultra Low Temperature Freezers: Key Considerations," provides evidence based guidance for those responsible for distribution, storage, and management of the vaccine, to resources that detail the fundamentals of safe and efficient ULT freezer management, shipping, and distribution.

"The global biobanking community has consolidated our knowledge and expertise into a brief one page resource. We aim to minimize the learning curve and to help people and health agencies new to ultra-low temperature storage avoid common pitfalls," said Piper Mullins, President-Elect of ISBER.

The document draws on accepted practices known to ensure robust ULT product storage and distribution that are routinely used by biorepositories. The document represents a consensus view from the biobanking community. The organization drew on the expertise of biorepository managers and industry vendors with further reference from the ISBER Best Practices, Fourth Edition. The statement intends to supplement guidance from national and local health agencies on managing the cold chain deployment of frozen COVID-19 vaccines.

 "We want ISBER to be the go-to resource for the growing number of people who are just learning about ultra-low storage and handling during this fraught time," said Associate Professor Daniel Catchpoole, President of ISBER. "As a scientific community who are experts in cold chain logistics of biological specimens, it is vital that our national health agencies draw on the expertise ISBER provides to guide the proper management of freezers for the distribution of biological therapeutics." 

To learn more about the association please visit www.isber.org.

About the International Society for Biological and Environmental Repositories

ISBER (www.isber.org) is the only global forum that addresses harmonization of scientific, technical, legal, and ethical issues relevant to repositories of biological and environmental specimens. ISBER fosters collaboration; creates education and training opportunities; provides a forum for the dissemination of state-of-the-art policies, processes, and research findings; and provides an international showcase for innovative technologies, products, and services. Together, these activities promote best practices that cut across the broad range of repositories that ISBER serves.

About the ISBER Best Practices

The ISBER Best Practices: Recommendations for Repositories Fourth Edition presents the most effective practices for the management of biological and environmental specimen collections and repositories. These are either evidence-based or consensus-based practices for collection, long-term storage, retrieval, and distribution of specimens. Development of best practices is a rigorous, consensus-based process that reflects advances in research and technology. To access, please visit: https://www.isber.org/page/BPR.

New Fellows Announced

New Fellows Announced

The Board of Governors is pleased to announce the recent approval of two new Fellows of the Society for Cryobiology: Erik Woods and Art DeVries. Erik and Art will be presented with their Fellow medals during a special session at CRYO2021, held in Chicago, July 20-23, 2021. 


Erik Woods


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2020 Election Results

Society for Cryobiology 2020 Election Results 

Executive Director, Nicole Evans, and myself are pleased to announce the results of the Society for Cryobiology 2020 Election for 3 Governors-at-Large 2021-2023.

The new Governors are:

John M. Baust, CPSI Biotech, USA
Shannon N. Tessier, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, USA
Christina Walters, USDA-ARS National Laboratory for Genetic Resources Preservation, USA

To learn more about the new governors you can download their biographies and vision statements on the Society for Cryobiology website.

Together these newly elected Governors are truly representative of the many cryo sectors, representing industry, academia, and government. 

I would like to extend a sincere thank you to all the candidates who stood for election, and to all members who took the time to vote. Voter turnout this year was 49%.  This is on par with last year, which came in at a 48% turnout.

If you have any questions or comments please do not hesitate to contact myself or Nicole.

With Best Wishes,
Adam Higgins
President
Society for Cryobiology

2020 Election

2020 Election

The Society for Cryobiology 2020 election will be held October 12 - 26, 2020. The election is for three Governor-at-Large positions for a term commencing January 2021 and ending December 2023. 

All members in good standing will receive an email in advance of the election to the email address listed in their member profile. The email will contain a personalized one-time use voting link to cast your vote anonymously at simplyvoting.com. If you do not receive your voting email within 24 hours of the election opening please check your spam folder and then contact [email protected] urgently. 

Voting Method 
Each voter is assigned 100 points to allocate to one or more candidates e.g. a voting member could give one candidate all 100 points, or divide points between any number of selected candidates.  All candidates are ranked by total number of points received, with the top 3 candidates named as the winners. 

Meet the Candidates 







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Asia's First Use of USA Organ Care System

Although a standard practice in many European countries, a medical team in Hong Kong used the Organ Care System for the first time on a human heart transplant. Invented in the USA, the Organ Care System is superior to traditional ice boxes for transporting organs by keeping the heart warm and beating with oxygenated blood up to 10 hours. Dr Timmy Au Wing-kuk, chief of Queen Mary Hospital’s cardiothoracic surgery department where the medical procedure was performed, says the implementation of the Organ Care System can increase the number of successful transplants by 5 to 10 each year. This transport method also allows medical teams to use hearts that would have been disqualified previously due to donor's age, organ condition, or travel distance. Read More...

2020 Election

Governor Nominations Open

The nominations committee is now inviting expressions of interest from all Society members in good standing for the position of Governor 2021-2023. 

Society for Cryobiology Governors take an active role in the decision making that guides the Society. Governors participate in quarterly Board meetings, and take on leadership responsibilities in various Society committees. They may also be involved in leadership roles in other Society activities of their interest, for example the Annual Meeting, or ad hoc projects. 

To express your interest please email Chair of the Nominating Committee, President Elect Dr. Greg Fahy. Please note all nominations are subject to approval by the nominations committee. This does not affect your right to nomination by petition as outlined in the society's bylaws

If your candidate nomination is accepted you will need to provide a detailed biography, statement outlining your vision for the Society, and a photograph for the election materials. 

The deadline to express your interest in standing as a candidate for Governor is September 14, 2020. The election will be held October 12-26, 2020.

The 2020 nominating committee is: 

Greg Fahy (Chair, President-Elect)
Adam Higgins (President)
Steven Mullen (Treasurer)
Erik Woods (Governor)
Ido Braslavsky (Governor)

Thank you and Farewell from Outgoing President, Dayong Gao

As my term as President of the Society for Cryobiology draws to a close, I would to express my deep appreciations and to reflect on the achievements of our society during the previous two years. 

Firstly, my sincere thanks go to my fellow Board of Governors, and particularly the Executive Committee members: Dr. Adam Higgins (President-Elect), Dr. Andy Shu (Treasurer) and Dr. Yuksel Agca (Secretary). The Executive and Board of Governors give their time freely and generously for the betterment and advancement of the Society, for which we cannot thank them enough. 

I would also like to acknowledge and thank Executive Director, Nicole Evans, for her continued and distinguished work in leading planning, development and administration for the Society. I must also thank the tireless and outstanding work of Dr. David Rawson, Editor-in-Chief, of Cryobiology and the excellent Editorial Board, who contribute their tremendous time and efforts to review the journal’s submissions to ensure the high quality and publication standard.

The Society has made many great strides during my term as President. I am exceptionally proud to have overseen the introduction of two new awards of our Society, both inaugurally awarded in 2019. Firstly, the Dayong Gao Young Investigator Award (sponsored by the GoldSim) to recognize a most outstanding young researcher in their early career, and secondly, the Arthur W. Rowe Cryobiology Best Paper Award, to recognize the most outstanding research article published in the journal each year. Furthermore, the Board of Governors is currently finalizing the Peter Mazur Prize (a Lifetime Achievement Award), which will recognize individuals who have reached the highest level of devotion and achievement in the field of cryobiology. 

I have continued to focus on forging new collaborations and strengthening and renewing familiar ties, with a number of signed memorandums of understanding (MOUs) with ISBER, ISCT, Knect365, and others. One of the most exciting collaborations of the last two years has been the co-publication with ISBER of the freely downloadable Liquid Nitrogen Best Practices Addendum. If you have not yet had the chance to read it, I highly recommend it.

With regard to the Annual Meeting, the Society for Cryobiology has now completed the transition period from local organizing committee to in-house organization, with Nicole leading logistics for CRYO2018 in Madrid, and logistics and fundraising for CRYO2019 in San Diego. She will continue to lead logistics and fundraising for CRYO2020 in Chicago, and beyond. One of her current focuses is to establish and cement relationships with key industry individuals to secure the financial viability and profitability of the meeting.  

As cryobiologists, we are entering a new era when cryobiology has a unique and significant contribution and impact on almost every major biological/biomedical research and application area. A once opaque science shrouded in mystery (and liquid nitrogen vapors!) has captured the attention of the public through mainstream news/articles on tissue engineering, biobanking, cellular-gene therapy, artificial organs, tissue-organ transplantation, regenerative medicine, and precision-personalized medicine. With this diverse range of applications and growing public acknowledgement, this is an exciting time for the field, its scientists and end users, and the Society for Cryobiology.

Lastly, I must thank you, our members for electing me to the position of President and allowing me the opportunity to lead the Society for Cryobiology. As each President builds upon the momentum of his predecessor, I trust I leave the Society healthy, strong, and resilient for new incoming President, Dr. Adam Higgins, who takes the reins 2020-2021. 

I wish you all a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! 

Cheers,

Dayong Gao, Ph.D
President,
Society for Cryobiology
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British Woman Survives 6 Hours After Cardiac Arrest

A recent hiking trip turned frigid after thirty-four-year-old Audrey Schoeman and her husband Rohan got caught in a snowstorm in the Pyrenees mountain range, Spain. Rohan called emergency services after Schoeman passed out. 

Dr. Jordi Riera and the team at Vall d'Hebron explained that Schoeman's extreme and rapid cooling to 18°C, causing her cardiac arrest, also slowed her brain metabolism which allowed the organs to better cope with the lack of oxygen. The team used an extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) machine to keep her alive. Warming up slowly, Schoeman regained consciousness 6 hours after her cardiac arrest. Despite some loss of sensitivity in her hands, Schoeman has made a full recovery and returned home. Read the full article. 

This "miracle" is the sort of biological phenomenon the team at the University of Maryland is attempting to duplicate with acute trauma victims. Read more...




First HIV Positive Sperm Bank Opened

Just before World Aids Day on December 1st, New Zealand just became the first country to establish a sperm bank called Sperm Positive for HIV positive donors who have a consistently undetectable viral load. Damien Rule-Neal, one of the first donors, said: "I want people to know life doesn't stop after being diagnosed with HIV and that it is safe to have children if you're on treatment." Read the full article HERE.

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First Human Placed in Suspended Animation

A team of medics at the University of Maryland, School of Medicine have announced their first attempt at placing a human in suspended animation. The Federal Drug Administration approved the team for 10 trials where a patient will be rapidly cooled to 10-15 °C by replacing their blood with ice-cold saline, ceasing nearly all brain activity. Hypothetically, medical professionals then have up to 2 hours to operate before the "suspended" patient is rewarmed and their heart started again. The team's trial procedure officially called Emergency Preservation and Resuscitation (EPR), is only allowed to be trialed on acute trauma victims (i.e. gunshot or stab wounds) who have already suffered cardiac arrest and have less than a 5% survival rate.
Read the full article HERE.

Election Results

The results are in from the 2019 Election, and we are pleased to notify members of the following results: 



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CRYO2019 Plenary Speakers in the News

CRYO2019 Plenary speakers Bart Panis and Oliver Ryder have featured in a recent news article by Katharine Gammon, a freelance science writer in California, who attended CRYO2019 as our guest. Ryder, the director of the "Frozen Zoo", presented on the continuous efforts made by the San Diego zoo to cryopreserve genetic material from over 10,000 species. Panis, a senior researcher with the Leuven, Bioversity International, discussed with Gammon the massive ice cave-turned-seed bank, Svalbard seed vault, with its 820,000 seed samples and the challenges surrounding flora cryopreservation. Read the full article HERE

Organ Transplant Survival Rate to Triple

Researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School began supercooling rat livers 5 years ago with the intention of being able to preserve human organs for more than the current 9 hours. Society for Cryobiology members, Reinier de Vries and Korkut Uygun, contributed to the research team's current experiment on human livers that were unsuitable for transplants. The research team's ultimate goal is a true organ bank where organs can be preserved for years instead of hours or days and in essence, eliminate the hundreds of deaths that occur while patients wait for a suitable transplant. Read the full article HERE.

Death of Igor Katkov

Igor KatkovIt is with sadness that we must inform members and the wider cryobiology community of the sudden and unexpected death of Prof. Igor Katkov in early September 2019. At the time of his death Prof. Katkov was serving a term as Governor on the Society for Cryobiology's Board. 

Prof. Katkov received his education as a Biophysicist in the former “Cryobiological Capital of the World” Kharkov, Ukraine (to use Igor's wording). After completing his PhD on the correlation between the tolerance of bovine sperm to electroporation and freezing, Prof. Katkov undertook a post-doctoral fellowship with Peter Mazur at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (1996-1998), researching osmotic and cryotolerance of mouse sperm. He then went on to work with Victor Bronshtein in San Diego, researching high temperature vitrification by drying without lyophilization. 

From 2001 - 2007 he worked at the University of California, San Diego (department of Pediatrics), developing a technique of freezing adherent pluripotent stem cells directly in multi-well dishes. During this time he developed a novel Relativistic Permeability approach, which calculates the exact level of maximum shrinkage during freezing and swelling during dilution. He was the first person to show that a permeable solute may behave paradoxically and have a bi-phasic pattern: moving in and then out during addition (hypersaturation effect) and out and back in the cell during dilution (hyperdiliution effect). In 2001 Prof. Katkov also founded Celltronix and served as Chief Scientific Officer, and from 2015 he combined this with the role of Head of the Laboratory of Amorphous State at Belgorod University (Russia) - serving in both roles until his death. Prof. Katkov’s most recent work has been the development of the concept of and building equipment for kinetic vitrification by hyperfast cooling, namely designing the K-VF KrioBlast™ in cooperation with V. F. Bolyukh from Ukraine.

In 2012 Prof. Katkov edited Current Frontiers in Cryobiology and Current Frontiers in Cryopreservation, the first major update to cryobiology literature since the publication of Life in the Frozen State (2004). During his career he published more than 160 research articles, and was granted 5 patents in the United States and Russia. 

To send a message of condolence please contact Nicole Evans who will pass all messages on to Prof. Katkov's family.