7th Alcor Conference, October 5-7, 2007

The Conference is over. This is an archival page.

Registration Fee: $495.00

Register Online Now
Registration includes conference materials, all presentations and meals, and Open House at the Alcor Foundation.

 Location & Room Reservations

Hilton Scottsdale Resort
6333 North Scottsdale Road
Scottsdale, AZ 85250
Transportation info

Reserve special Conference room rate of $152 per night.
Special room rate available until September 15th or until the group block is sold out, whichever comes first.

The Hilton Scottsdale Resort will waive its Resort Fee for reservations made within Alcor’s room block, including the following:

  • Complimentary wireless high speed internet access (in guestrooms)
  • Complimentary local calls
  • Complimentary valet parking
  • Complimentary access to the Business Center and Wellness Center
  • Incoming and outgoing facsimiles
  • Unlimited in-room coffee
  • 10% off onsite Enterprise Car Rental (480-596-8857)
  • 20% off Dontina’s Beauty Salon (offsite)
Steve Bridge
Why We Are Here and Where We Are Going
30-year cryonicist and former Alcor President Steve Bridge will succinctly overview how far Alcor and cryonics have come in the past 30 years. He will give you an insider's look at where the organization sometimes went wrong, where it stands now and what needs to be learned to get on the best path to saving lives for the future. Start your conference with this presentation and you will be ready to handle anything the other speakers discuss the rest of the day.
Aubrey de Grey, Ph.D.
Is it Politically Safe for a Biologist to Support Cryonics Publicly?
Many cryonics advocates and supporters keep their views private, for many different reasons. Among these, a prominent reason is often fear about the impact on one's professional reputation and career. Dr. de Grey concluded years ago that he would have great difficulty publicly reconciling a cryonics-skeptic position with his own knowledge of biology and public research, even setting aside any personal misgivings he might have about being diffident on such an important topic. Dr. de Grey will discuss the extent to which these considerations apply to his own career and biologists in general.
Steven Harris, M.D.
Rapid Hypothermia Induction Methods and Brain Oxygen Requirements in Resuscitation and Cryonics
Dr. Steven B. Harris is a medical doctor with board certifications in internal medicine and geriatrics. Many of his recent studies have focused on very rapid cooling of the brain in large animals in order to model brain cooling as part of the post-resuscitation treatment process. By injecting cold fluorocarbon liquids into the lungs, it is possible to use the lungs as heat exchangers to cool the brain without significant damage. Extremely rapid brain cooling from only a few degrees up to deep cooling near the temperature of ice has applications from resuscitation treatment to medical "suspended animation." Dr. Harris will describe his studies and how theoretical models of brain oxygen needs at different temperatures applies to cryonics.
Chris Heward, Ph.D.
The Kronos Longitudinal Aging Study: The Measurement of Human Aging
Aging in mammals is a process that begins early in adult life and continues, thereafter, until death. It manifests as a decline in functional capacity over time, leading to increasing risk of morbidity and mortality. Aging, as defined in the Kronos Longitudinal Aging Study (KLAS), can be measured by monitoring the decline of a global index of functional capacity, expressed as a rate function (i.e. change per unit time). To be useful, this global index of aging must be relatively easy and inexpensive to measure. When fully developed and properly validated, such aging measurement technology will enable empirical testing of purported “anti-aging” interventions in relatively short-term human clinical trials. Dr. Heward, President of Kronos Science Laboratory, will present a complete description of the KLAS program, including selected preliminary data describing some of the best candidate biomarkers of aging.
Tanya Jones
Improving Cryopreservation Technology at Alcor
Many of Alcor’s R&D initiatives were announced a year ago, at Alcor’s 2006 conference. Tanya Jones will provide a progress report and explain how these initiatives are expected to improve the state of the art in cryonics technology. Learn about Alcor’s whole body vitrification system in development, which offers greater control of the cryopreservation process and more insight into the results of each cryopreservation case. You will receive an overview of the system’s automated control processes, data collection capabilities, and wide range of cooling protocols. You will also hear the status of Alcor’s ability to respond to emergencies and stabilize cryonics patients, near and far.
Calvin Mercer, Ph.D.
Cryonics and Religion: Friends or Foes?
Dr. Mercer is one of the few scholars looking into the religious implications of life extension. In this talk he examines the religious issues at play with regard to cryonics. Religious belief encompasses a vast array of positions that can range from Luddite bias against science and technology to welcoming affirmation of any development that extends the length and quality of life. He examines the theological issues, the role of myth and symbol in the debate, and prospects for how the conversation might unfold. The talk can be useful for people of faith, as well as for those interested in how religion might impact the assessment of cryonics in the broader culture.
Ralph Merkle, Ph.D.
Molecular Nanotechnology and the Repair of Cryopreserved Patients
Reversing cryopreservation should be possible with molecular nanotechnology. Molecular medical tools provided by nanotechnology should be able to scan, analyze, and repair cryopreserved humans at the molecular and cellular level, enabling restoration of well-cryopreserved tissue to good health. Besides discussing the technical feasibility of cryonics, Dr. Merkle will overview several recent advances in the field of nanotechnology, including a recent paper he co-authored illustrating the kind of computational work that is needed to show the feasibility of flexible molecular manipulation.
Christine Peterson
Life Extension: Good News, Bad News, Surprising News
For those interested in personal life extension, the news is complex. We all have busy lives and wish that effective life extension could be as easy as taking a vitamin pill, "One A Day for Longevity." Unfortunately, a quick fix is not an option today, but there is good news. Learn what you can do today to add healthy years to your life. This talk will review some of the more popular life extension approaches, beyond cryonics, because every year gained offers the benefit of yet another year of advances in longevity research.
Stephen Van Sickle
Research Directions at Alcor
Stephen Van Sickle, Alcor Executive Director, will discuss the direction Alcor’s research program is currently taking. Alcor’s cardiopulmonary bypass lab, under development over the past year, will soon enable Alcor to begin comprehensive testing of important aspects of the cryopreservation procedure. The first challenges will be to research whole body vitrification and to understand more about cerebral ischemia (damage to the brain caused by lack of blood flow and oxygen) and its effects on the cryopreservation process. Stephen will overview the importance of well-controlled model systems in cryonics research and how Alcor’s current research program is meeting these standards. Some hints about future research directions will also be given.
Michael West, Ph.D.
Immortal Cells: The Prospect of Regenerative Medicine
Since prehistoric times people have observed the mortality of the individual human life contrasted with the immortality of the species itself. In the ancient world, this led to metaphysical speculation regarding the meaning of the present human condition and paths to hopefully improve that fate. In our generation we are fortunate enough to have deciphered the molecular basis of this immortality of the species. The isolation of human immortal germ-line cells and the ability to rejuvenate aged somatic cells by nuclear transfer has led to the dawn of the new field of regenerative medicine. Realistic prospects of these technologies to regenerate function in the context of age-related disease will be discussed.
Brian Wowk, Ph.D.
Common Questions about Cryobiology and Cryonics
Cryobiology is a small field, and cryonics is even smaller still. Finding answers to technical questions can be difficult. Common questions are: What can and cannot be cryopreserved today? How is freezing damage prevented? What lessons from cold tolerance in nature can be applied to cryopreservation? What is the difference between cryonics and suspended animation? When considering scientific fields that bring life processes to a complete stop, perhaps the most pervasive question of all is: What is the difference between life and death? This question and many others will be answered.
Human Cryopreservation and Critical Care Medicine Panel:
David Crippen, M.D., Tanya Jones, Leslie Whetstine, Ph.D., Aschwin de Wolf
Join critical care physician David Crippen, Alcor COO Tanya Jones and bioethicist Leslie Whetstine for a panel discussion about the ethical, legal and practical issues surrounding human cryopreservation.

Questions that will be discussed include: What is the current status on laws that affect the practice of cryonics such as the Uniform Anatomical Gift Act (UAGA) and the Uniform Declaration of Death Act (UDDA)? Where is the ethical debate about non heart-beating organ donation (NHBD) heading? How do organ procurement procedures compare to cryonics procedures? Is cryonics a form of critical care medicine? Panel Moderator: Aschwin de Wolf. More background information about our panel.
Alcor Board of Directors Panel:
Members of the Alcor Board of Directors in attendance at the conference will host a special panel presentation to address questions submitted in advance from Alcor members or posed by the live audience. The floor will be open for discussion of policy decisions affecting the membership, such as Comprehensive Member Standby, Alcor’s wealth preservation trust, and the reasoning behind raising the cost of cryopreservation in 2005. Audience members may also wish to ask questions about practical matters pertaining to their membership, such as plans for international facilities, what can be done to proactively support the organization, and how to best prepare for end-of-life choices. This is an opportunity to ask about the financial status of the organization, the status of its Patient Care Trust, and its public policy objectives.We encourage everyone to openly share opinions about any of the topics discussed during the conference.
 Conference Schedule
Friday October 5
 Registration   5:00pm-8:00pm    
 Reception 7:00pm-10:00pm       
 Welcome Address   8:00pm-8:20pm Barry Aarons  

Saturday October 6
 Breakfast 7:00am-9:00am    
 Opening Remarks   9:00am-9:20am    
 Session 1 9:20am-10:00am Steve Bridge  
 Session 2 10:00am-10:40am    Brian Wowk, Ph.D.  
 Break 10:40am-11:10am    
 Session 3 11:10am-11:50am Stephen J. Van Sickle  
 Session 4 11:50am-12:30pm Tanya Jones  
 Lunch 12:30pm-2:00pm     
 Session 5 2:00pm-2:40pm Ralph Merkle, Ph.D.  
 Session 6 2:40pm-3:20pm Michael West. Ph.D.  
 Break 3:20pm-3:50pm    
 Session 7 3:50pm-4:30pm Aubrey de Grey, Ph.D.  
 Session 8 4:30pm-5:10pm Alcor Board of Directors Panel  
 Break 5:10pm-7:00pm    
 Banquet Dinner 7:00pm-10:00pm     

Sunday October 7
 Breakfast 7:00am-9:00am    
 Opening Remarks    9:00am-9:05am    
 Session 9 9:05am-10:00am Critical Care Medicine Panel  
 Session 10 10:00am-10:40am    Steven Harris, M.D.  
 Break 10:40am-11:10am    
 Session 11 11:10am-11:50am Calvin Mercer, Ph.D.  
 Session 12 11:50am-12:30pm Christine Peterson  
 Session 13 12:30pm-1:10pm Chris Heward, Ph.D.  
 Closing Remarks 1:10pm-1:20pm    
 Alcor Open House   2:00pm-7:00pm    

Gold Sponsors ($5,000)


Bronze Sponsors ($2,500)

  Michael Fleischmann

  Patrice Levin & Nigel Kell

Copper Sponsors ($1,000)

  Cryonics Property, LLC

  Andrew Popper

Academic Sponsors

The Longevity Meme

  The Calorie Restriction Society

  Rudi Hoffman