The Immortalist Society is one of the oldest of all cryonics groups, being originally founded back at the very start of the modern cryonics movement. The organization is presently seeking the funds to set up a research prize for technological progress in reversible organ cryopreservation. Research prizes are consistently shown to work pretty well when it comes to spurring investment and advancement in research and development, and for this particular technology it seems to be a good time for such an effort. You might look back at the Brain Preservation Prize competition that took place over the past few years to see how that worked to draw attention to the specific goals of the prize founders, and to improve the state of the art in cryopreservation. The intended goal for the Immortalist Society prize is plausible given the current state of work on cryopreservation techniques, a growing number of new entries into this research community, and the initial proof of principle demonstration of reversible cryopreservation of a rabbit kidney some years ago. Reversible cryopreservation for use in the organ transplant field is a gateway likely to lead to greater investment in cryonics technologies and greater acceptance of cryopreservation as a sensible end of life choice, given the lack of other options.
Currently there is a critically short window of time during which a donated organ remains viable, so distance and transport are major obstacles to treatment. Today an organ donor and a recipient must be matched immediately for any chance of a successful transplant. The challenges involved with matching a patient and a donor, relative to distances and timing, mean that thousands of potentially life-saving donor organs are unused every year. The Cryoprize is a grassroots initiative to solve these challenges and help these people get the life-saving treatment they need. Our goal is to encourage and reward the critical research needed to eliminate the current obstacles to successful organ transplants. Cryobiology, the science of preserving tissues and organs at ultra-low temperatures, can provide the solution. An organ successfully preserved by cryogenic means would remain viable indefinitely, eliminating the challenges of transport and distance. Permanent organ banks could be established, much the same as the blood banks hospitals rely on today.
The goal of the Cryoprize is to award a minimum of fifty thousand dollars to any individual or group that is able to place one of several mammalian organs at cryogenic temperatures, transplant the organ into a mammalian animal for a period of at least nine months, and show, during that time period, proper clinical function of the organ. The organs in question are the heart, lung, kidney, liver and pancreas. The prize amount to be awarded has as an initial goal a minimum of $50,000, with the further goal that the prize grow to at least $1 million. The prize is sponsored by The Immortalist Society, a non-profit organization dedicated to longevity research and outreach. But we need your help to fund this initiative. Please donate today, in any amount, and help us save lives.