BLOG

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 







Read More

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)

Are Cheaper Cryo-Electron Microscopes on the Horizon?

Over the past six years, researchers from the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (OIST) have developed an easier and cheaper version of the traditional cryo-electron microscope (cryo-EM). Opposed to the traditional high-energy electron cryo-EM, this new style utilizes a low-energy electron beam. The low-energy electron cryo-EM allows scientists to better observe atoms with low atomic mass such as carbon, oxygen, hydrogen, which are primary elements in biomolecules. Another benefit to this new cryo-EM is the ability for scientists to observe both amplitude and phase whereas the traditional method only provides information on phase. Drawbacks include an image resolution significantly inferior to a conventional cryo-EM, but researchers could use this new method to gauge their sample quality before proceeding to the more costly, high-energy electron method. READ MORE

Cord Blood Goes Missing

Where are my child's stem cells?

That's what 200-300 Dutch parents were asking when they discovered Cryo-Save was on the brink of bankruptcy and had transferred their children's umbilical cord cells long-term cryo storage to the PBKM FamiCord Group in Poland. A FamiCord representative confirmed that 2% of approximately 230,000 clients’ samples did not arrive at the laboratories. Cryo-Save now faces a transplant law investigation in response to transporting these samples without the client's consent. READ MORE

Want to prevent this happening to your biobank? Check out
ISBER's best practice guide



Read More

Heart Preservation Breakthrough

The ULiSSESTM device won the 2019 grand prize for the "Create the Future" Design Contest, an annual competition hosted by Tech Briefs Media Group and has now been put to the test. Developed over decades by teams at the Univerisity of Austin and Vascular Perfusion Solutions, this device could increase the transportation time of donor's hearts and other vital organs from 4 hours to 24 hours. 

The ability to preserve donor organs for 24 hours would revolutionize organ transplants, creating an opportunity for organs to be transported around the world. With five successful 24-hour trials on pig heart preservation and one dog heart preservation, the next ULiSSESTM trials will involve pig heart transplants with a goal to move into human trials by 2021. READ MORE

Call for Fellow Nominations

Fellow Nominations Open 

CALL FOR CRYOFELLOW NOMINATIONS - DEADLINE MAY 31

Gao
President, Jason Acker, presents President-Elect, Dayong Gao with the CryoFellow Medal at CRYO2017. 

The 2020 CryoFellows Nominations Committee is now soliciting nominations for the appointment of new CryoFellows. This Committee, consisting of three members of the Board of Governors and two CryoFellows, evaluates the nominations and makes recommendations to the Board for approval of new Fellows.

Jan 30: Nominations Open 
May 31: Nominations Close
June - mid-July: Evaluation of nomination materials by Fellow Committee
July 20: Board of Governors to vote on Fellow Committee recommendations


The Society for Cryobiology established an award and medal of CryoFellow just over a decade ago in recognition of members of the society and individuals from the cryobiology community at large who have had an outstanding impact on the field.

CryoFellows are awarded this prestigious status in recognition of: scientific impact of their research on cryobiology (50%); sustained nature of that impact (20%); generation of scientific offspring (20%); and service to the Society (10%).

There is no formal application form on which to make the nomination, but the documents you provide the committee should be of sufficient depth to support the candidate's contributions to the categories mentioned above in a clear and demonstrable way. Usually this will mean inclusion with the nomination:

(1) Supporting letters from members of the Society or other major contributors to cryobiology (including one from the nominator); and 

(2) a detailed resume for the nominee. I suggest you contact the proposed CryoFellow to discuss their nomination before proceeding and to obtain the resume from the nominee.

Please note the nominated individual must be living at the time that he or she is nominated.

If there is someone you would like to nominate, or you would like to have an informal discussion before proceeding with a nomination, please email me at [email protected]

Special Announcement: ASRM Committee Opinion

The American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) recently announced in a committee opinion that ovarian tissue cryopreservation (OTC) is no longer considered experimental and can be used in prepubertal patients or when there is not time for ovarian stimulation. This is a major step for the field and provides young patients with more options to preserve their future fertility.

Read More

Call for 2023 Meeting Locations

Read More

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
1 Comments

SLTB Report

Written by Estefania Paredes (University of Vigo, ES), Dominic Olver (University of Saskatchewan, CA), Peter Kilbride (Asymptote Ltd., UK)
The Society for Low Temperature Biology annual meeting took place in the sunny and welcoming city of Seville (Spain) for its 55th edition in October 2-4th, 2019. The meeting started with a workshop in collaboration with the Stem User group (SCUG) and the Andalusian Initiative for Advanced therapies.

Read More

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.

Read More

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: 



Read More

Health & Safety - Liquid Nitrogen Injuries Continue

 
A woman in Florida, USA, nearly died in October 2019 after ingesting a drink with liquid nitrogen. Ms. Stacey Wagers saw a waiter pour a liquid onto another patron's dessert, giving it a neat "smoky" effect. The waiter poured some of the same liquid into Wager's glass of water after her friend commented on the cool effect. Wager became immediately and violently ill, resulting in her gall bladder and parts of her stomach being removed. Read more...

2019 Election

2019 Elections

Read More

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.