The future of cryopreservation: research and applications

April 13, 2016

This London Futurists talk by João Pedro de Magalhães covers the latest developments in both the theory and practice of cryopreservation – the low temperature preservation of biological material.

Important potential applications of cryopreservation include:

  • in biobanking (and therefore in regenerative medicine)
  • in cryonics – the low-temperature preservation of deceased human bodies, with the view to eventual reanimation when science has progressed sufficiently to cure whatever condition was the cause of death.

The talk also covers the purpose and progress of the recently formed UK Cryonics and Cryopreservation Research Network, of which João is a founder member and the network coordinator.

About the speaker:

Dr João Pedro de Magalhães is Senior Lecturer in Functional and Comparative Genomics at the Institute of Integrative Biology of the University of Liverpool.

On his personal website, João describes himself as a Portuguese scientist and futurist whose work focuses on studying the aging process and how we can manipulate it to fend off age-related diseases and improve human health. In addition, he has several hobbies, including composing music and performing stand-up comedy.

For a good flavour of João’s work, see the short animated video“What is aging?”.

About the UK Cryonics and Cryopreservation Research Network:

The UK Cryonics and Cryopreservation Research Network is a group of UK researchers who, together with international advisors, aim to advance research in cryopreservation and its applications.


Although we are a small group, we hope to promote academic and industrial activity on cryopreservation, and discuss its potential applications, including the idea of cryopreserving whole humans, commonly known as cryonics.

We acknowledge that cryonics is a controversial topic, but like any unprovable approach we think its scientific discussion is necessary to permit its understanding by the public and by the wider scientific community, and it allows us to address many of the misunderstandings surrounding cryonics. We also think that cryopreservation, cryogenics and cryonics are fields with a huge potential impact on human medicine whose societal implications should be considered and debated.

We hope to attract and excite students and other researchers about cryobiology, contribute to knowledge exchange and help attract interest and funding to the field.

Some recommended reading:

“Why Cryonics Makes Sense” by Tim Urban, Wait But Why

Meeting logistics:

2pm-4pm, Saturday 16th April 2016.

Venue: Room TBA (To Be Announced), Birkbeck College, Torrington Square WC1E 7HX, London.

Room TBA is on the TBAth floor in the main Birkbeck College building, in Torrington Square (which is a pedestrian-only square). Torrington Square is about 10 minutes walk from either Russell Square or Goodge St tube stations.

Coffee and other light refreshments can be purchased from the Costa Coffee shop in the reception area of the building, either ahead of or after the meeting.

The event will be followed by a chance to continue the discussion in a nearby pub – The Marlborough Arms, 36 Torrington Place, London WC1E 7HJ.

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Covering meeting costs:

A small fee (£5) is payable to attend this meetup. This fee covers room hire costs. Please pay in advance, online, after you RSVP.

This will be refunded if the meeting is cancelled or rearranged, or if the attendee cancels at least 3 days before the meetup.

Alternatively, if there are still seats available, payment can be made in cash at the door on the day. (Requesting payment in advance assists with accurate planning of the event.)

Journalists are welcome to attend the meeting free-of-charge – please contact the organiser, notifying us in advance of your plans to attend.

—Event Producer