Funding and Awareness
UNPRECEDENTED U.S. GOVERNMENT FUNDING FOR COMPLEX TISSUE CRYOPRESERVATION
The Dept. of Defense created three grant pipelines for organ and tissue preservation, the first in U.S. history, as a result of discussions with Organ Preservation Alliance (OPA) and its advisors. These funded over a dozen labs, so far totaling ~$7.5 million.
OPA also helped organize research labs to apply, leading a Dept. of Defense official to call the strength and number of applications “unprecedented.” Despite the high application volume, the award rate exceeded the national average.
DEPT. OF DEFENSE DOUBLES SUPPORT FOR TISSUE AND ORGAN CRYOPRESERVATION
In Jan. 2016 the Dept. of Defense released three new grant programs for organ and tissue preservation, based on the exceptional strength and number of applications for first round of solicitations in the year before.
These programs were greenlit by the Dept. of Defense before seeing the Phase 1 results of the previous year’s grants–a tremendous show of confidence in the research opportunities in preservation and the labs that are pursuing them.
MEDIA COVERS Organ Preservation Alliance AND LARGE TISSUE CRYOPRESERVATION
2015 - 2016
Based on the Organ Preservation Alliance’s (OPA) work, major media outlets such as The Economist, Scientific American, and WIRED have highlighted cryopreservation progress, helping to attract new interest from the scientific community as well as funding, investment, and political support.
Among the developments covered were the new federal funding programs for organ and tissue preservation resulting from an extended dialogue between the U.S. Dept. of Defense, OPA, and its advisors. Other topics included investment in organ and tissue preservation companies, and new OPA initiatives.
Building an Alliance of Stakeholders
WHITE HOUSE ROUNDTABLE ON ORGAN BANKING AND BIOENGINEERING
As a result of discussions with the Organ Preservation Alliance (OPA) and its partner organization, New Organ, the White House held a roundtable discussion on organ cryobanking and regenerative medicine attended by dozens of representatives from large stakeholder organizations.
This roundtable outlined a vision for ending the global organ shortage by combining cryopreservation and regenerative medicine. This forms the blueprint for a potential scientific “Grand Challenge” that could ultimately bring an end to the global organ shortage.
EMERGING TECHNOLOGIES IN ORGAN PRESERVATION SYMPOSIUM AND ROUNDTABLE ON CAPITOL HILL
On Capitol Hill, Organ Preservation Alliance (OPA) held a workshop and roundtable discussion on emerging technologies in organ preservation, highlighting the family of preservation technologies including machine perfusion, supercooling, and cryopreservation. Thirteen major stakeholder organizations sent leaders, joining high-level officials from NIH, the Dept. of Defense and Congress.
WHITE HOUSE HIGHLIGHTS ORGAN PRESERVATION, ANNOUNCING NEW INITIATIVES
The White House held a summit on initiatives to address the organ shortage, hosting over 140 organizations. Organ preservation was one of the key topics, based on an 18 month-long dialogue between the White House and the Organ Preservation Alliance (OPA).
The White House announced a new $160 million research institute in which complex tissue preservation is a key focus, as well as $15 million in support for organ and tissue preservation research and three new OPA programs.
COMPLEX TISSUE CRYOPRESERVATION SESSIONS AT ESTABLISHED SCIENTIFIC CONFERENCES
2015 - 2016
Organ Preservation Alliance (OPA)-led sessions at established academic conferences have attracted researchers across many fields (e.g., bioengineering, nanotechnology, and transplantation) to the preservation of tissues and organs.
These sessions have resulted in e.g. a featured podcast by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and new partnerships that can accelerate progress in preservation research.
FIRST GLOBAL ORGAN BANKING SUMMIT
Dozens of leading researchers met at Stanford School of Medicine to outline the remaining “sub-challenges” in organ cryopreservation. The overwhelming consensus was that cryopreservation of complex tissues has become an achievable goal with today’s technologies.
NSF-SPONSORED TECHNOLOGY ROADMAP
2014 - 2015
The National Science Foundation funded the creation of a technology roadmap to off-the-shelf human organs, which outlined the key research opportunities and milestones to achieving organ banking in the coming years.
The roadmap’s completion was accompanied by a workshop bringing together leadership at NIH, NASA, and many other government agencies as large stakeholder organizations and leading experts in organ preservation and regenerative medicine.
DARPA “ORGANS ON DEMAND” WORKSHOP AT WEST POINT
The Organ Preservation Alliance (OPA) held a workshop at the U.S. Military Academy along with top leadership at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), outlining key concepts in a proposed “Apollo Program” to preserve and bank organs, limbs, and other complex tissues.