Congratulations to our Student Award Winners

In 2017 the Society for Cryobiology awarded over $12,000 to our student members in travel grants and prize money. 

Above: All Student Prize Winners and Travel Grant Awardees
Back Row: James Benson, Chair of the Awards Committee; Ilya Savchenko (Israel); Ross Warner (USA); Krishna Ramajayam (India). 
Front Row: Dayong Gao, President-Elect, Society for Cryobiology and Co-Chair of CRYO2017; Nikola Dolezalova (UK); Chandrika Kumari (India); Wenhui Li (China); Krishnaa Mahbubani (UK); Kezhou Wu (China); Jason Acker, President, Society for Cryobiology. 
Not pictured: Wei Di (China); Maryam Hezavehei (Iran); Xueru Jiang (China); Jiaji Pan (USA). 

Each year the Society for Cryobiology invites student members to submit an extended abstract to be considered for a number of awards including the prestigious Crystal Award for best student oral presentation, the Critser Travel Award, sponsored by the family of late cryobiologist John K. Critser, and a large number travel grants to attend the Society's annual meeting in order to present their research. All students presenting a poster at the meeting are also eligible to enter the Best Poster Award. 

Above: Peter L. Steponkus Crystal Award Finalists: James Benson, Chair of Awards Committee; Ross Warner (USA), Maryam Hezavehei (Iran); Nikola Dolezalova (UK); Jiaji Pan (USA). 

Read More

Dayong Gao Elected to Academy of Sciences

Society for Cryobiology President-Elect, Dayong Gao of the University of Washington, has been elected to the Washington State Academy of Sciences (WSAS). 

The WSAS is a non-profit state resource for the government, organizations and citizens relating to science, technology, health, and the environment, and aims to inform public policy decision making in Washington State. 

Currently comprising 267 members, the WSAS elects only the state's most distinguished scientific and technical experts.

Gao fulfils these criteria through his contributions in the field of cryobiology and the science and technology of artificial organs. His work impacts the development of cutting-edge biotechnology that treats diseases, organ failure, and contributes to species conservation worldwide.

Welcome to our Newest Members

Welcome to the following new members! 

Mr. Kyohei Yamashita - Student Member 

Read More

Ross Warner Wins Critser Award 

Ross Warner has been named the Critser Award winner for 2017.

The Critser Award is sponsored by the family of late cryobiologist and former President of the Society for Cryobiology, John K. Critser. The award recognizes the best extended abstract submission by a student and carries an honorarium of $1500 USD to attend the annual meeting, taking place this year in Hefei, China July 21-23.  

Read More

GE Healthcare Purchases Asymptote

GE Healthcare has recently purchased Asymptote. Founder and CEO of Asymptote, John Morris, is a long time member of the Society for Cryobiology. 

From the press release

Asymptote’s integrated suite of cryochain hardware, software and consumables are designed to maintain the potency of cellular therapies enabling ultra-low temperature freezing during production, all the way to thawing at the clinic prior to administering to patients. The acquisition of Asymptote fills a critical gap in GE Healthcare’s end-to-end ecosystem of products and services for cell therapy production, and will be an important piece of the portfolio enabling the industrialization of these life-saving therapies.

Read More

Miao Zhang Defends Thesis 

Student member of the Society for Cryobiology, Miao Zhang, is to defend her thesis on June 23, 2017. During her PhD studies Ms. Zhang received the Society's John K. Critser award for the best extended student abstract in 2015 and the Peter L. Steponkus Crystal award for the best student oral presentation at the Society's meeting in 2016.

Thesis: Towards dry preservation of mammalian cellls
The central aim of this thesis was to test if trehalose can be introduced into mammalian cells during freezing-induced membrane permeabilization and if this subsequently stabilizes cells during freezing and/or freeze-drying. It was hypothesized that membrane-impermeable molecules including trehalose can be loaded into cells through freezing-induced membrane phase transitions. One of the conclusions was that mammalian cells can be loaded with membrane-impermeable compounds (i.e. trehalose) by subjecting the cells to freezing-induced osmotic stress and membrane imperfections. It was shown that trehalose can be used as sole cryoprotectant to cryopreserve cells. Preloading with trehalose via fluid-phase endocytosis did not increase cryosurvival rates if trehalose is also added as extracellular protectant. It is particularly freezing-induced trehalose uptake that facilitates cryosurvival when trehalose is used as the sole cryoprotectant. One other aim was to investigate if freezing-induced uptake of trehalose stabilizes cells during freeze-drying, and to assess the effect of trehalose on storage stability of DNA during freeze-drying and dried storage. No viable cells were recovered after freeze-drying and rehydration. DNA was found to be largely intact directly after freeze-drying. DNA damage in freeze-dried cells progressively increases with storage duration and temperature. DNA damage was prevented by storage of the samples at 4°C. It was shown that trehalose reduces DNA damage during storage.

Miao Zhang received her education at Southeast University (Nanjing, China) (BE, 2011), after which she completed master's studies at Ulm University (Ulm, Germany) (MSc, 2013). She was accepted in the PhD program ‘Regenerative Sciences’ in 2013 at Hannover Medical School (Hannover, Germany) and conducted her PhD project at the Institute of Multiphase Processes, Leibniz University of Hannover (Hannover, Germany), under the supervision of Dr. Willem Wolkers. 

Searching for Outstanding Individuals 

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

Newly appointed fellows are presented with the prestigious Basile. J. Luyet medal at the annual meeting the Society for Cryobiology in recognition of their services to cryobiology. Recent Fellows have included Greg Fahy and John Bischof (2016) and Kenneth Diller (2015). 

The Fellow Committee is now inviting annual nominations of outstanding individuals to be considered as Fellows of the Society for Cryobiology.

CryoFellows are awarded this prestigious status in recognition of:

Read More

Notes From the Director's Desk 

At a glance, here's everything you need to know about CRYO2017!


The 54th Annual Meeting of the Society for Cryobiology, CRYO2017 in the city of Hefei, Anhui Province, China on July 21 - 23, 2016 at the super 5-star business Fengda International Hotel is really taking shape with over 184 confirmed oral and poster presentations.
 This total includes 63 student abstracts and features 719 authors from 19 different countries. These include submissions from China, the USA, the UK, Canada, and as far afield as Iran, Russia, Australia, Bangladesh, Peru, and many others. The abstracts are currently being streamed into a fantastic scientific program typical of this premier event in the field of cryobiology, and the final program will be available soon. 

Read More

Peter Mazur Memorial Website 

Fritz Kleinhans has recently unveiled a memorial website for the late Peter Mazur. Fritz has invited members of the Society for Cryobiology to submit photographs or remembrances for inclusion on the site. 

Peter Mazur (1928-2015) was a pioneer and leading figure in the world of cryobiology for over 50 years. He was a founding member of the Society for Cryobiology and served as President from 1973-1974. He served numerous terms as Governor and was active at board meeting even while not in office (no one argued with Peter!). He was also a member of the editorial board from 1967 until his death.

Close friends and colleagues of Peter's, Fritz Kleinhans and David Pegg, wrote a touching obituary which was published in the April 2016 issue of Cryobiology. The obituary, along with photos and details of Peter's most important research can all be found on the memorial website.  

New Member Welcome

Since our March quarter newsletter the society has welcomed 26 new student and individual members from around the world and one new institutional member, The Biobank of Picardie

Welcome to the Society for Cryobiology! 

Read More

Do you have what it takes to govern the Society for Cryobiology?  

Nominations are now open for the following posts:

  • President-Elect (2018-2019)
  • Secretary (2018-2019)
  • Treasurer (2018-2019)
  • 3 Governors (2018-2020)

As part of the Society's move to a more open and transparent system of election and governance, the Board of Governors is now inviting nominations from all Society members in good standing for the officer and governor posts detailed above.

To declare your candidacy please email a detailed biography and candidate statement outlining your vision for the Society to Nicole Evans by August 1, 2017.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss the roles and their responsibilities please don't hesitate to contact me at [email protected]

Please note all nominations are subject to final approval by the nominations committee. This does not affect your right to nomination by petition as outlined in the society's bylaws

Postdoc Position for Bull Semen Cryopreservation Optimization

The Benson Cryobiology laboratory at the University of Saskatchewan, in collaboration with SEMEX, Inc in Quebecc, is offering a 2-year postdoctoral fellowship to an applicant interested in using novel interdisciplinary techniques to optimize bull semen cryopreservation. The successful candidate will work towards bull semen cryopreservation media optimization by determining biophysical parameters, cryoprotectant toxicities, and toxicity minimizing agents. Then they will use these components in a novel way to determine optimal cryoprotectant media equilibration protocols leading to successful post thaw recovery. This interdisciplinary project combines basic sperm science with mathematical modeling and optimization in an applied setting with access to large donor, recipient, and data pools.


  • Candidate must be within 6 months of completing their Ph.D. degree in a discipline related to theriogenology or cryobiology.
  • Candidate must have at least one first author publication in the area of mammalian sperm, preferably in sperm cryopreservation.
  • Knowledge of cryobiological principles and sperm preservation techniques is preferred but not required.
  • Candidate must be comfortable with, but not necessarily expert in, mathematical modeling approaches to biology.
  • Candidate must be willing to travel between two principal locations (Saskatchewan and Quebec).

To apply:
Please send a cover letter describing your research interests, research experience, and career goals, as well as a copy of your CV and contact information for three references to: Dr. James Benson at james.benson[at] 

Read More

Want to be a student moderator at CRYO2017?

At last year's annual meeting, CRYO2016 in Ottawa, the Society for Cryobiology and the International Young Cryobiology Researchers (ICYR) introduced a student moderator at each symposium to give students the chance to gain valuable experience in moderating a session.

It was such a success that we are repeating it again this year!

If you're a student attending CRYO2017 and would like the chance to practise moderating a symposium please fill in the application form below by June 30. 

'Apollo Program' of Organ Banking Announced

Did you know that for every ONE patient that receives a heart transplant in the USA, TEN hearts from organ donors are wasted because they cannot be transplanted in time?

That's going to change.

Read More