|Founder||Richard C. Davis, Robert Ettinger, Mae A. Junod, Walter E. Runkel|
|Focus||Cryopreservation of humans and pets in the hope of future reanimation.|
|Method||Cryonics vitrification perfusion and cryogenic storage|
|1349 (September 1, 2015)|
|Owner||Owned by voting members (members who have human cryopreservation funding and contracts)|
|Andy Zawacki, Dennis Kowalski, Stephan Beauregard|
|Membership fees and donations; Master Cemetery Trust|
The Cryonics Institute (CI) is an American member-owned-and-operated not-for-profit corporation which provides cryonics services, regarding the preservation of humans in liquid nitrogen after legal death, with hopes of restoring them when new technology will be developed in the future. The Cryonics Institute continues to be an industry leader in terms of both membership & practical affordability for all and also the Cryonics Organization with the largest number of members worldwide (Fully & Not Funded). CI is located in Clinton Township, Michigan.
As of September 1, 2015, The Cryonics Institute has 1,349 members in total (including preserved bodies). 185 of those funded members had contracts with Suspended Animation, Inc. for standby & transport. 135 humans, 190 human tissue/DNA samples and 112 pets and 60 pet tissue/DNA samples are cryogenically preserved in liquid nitrogen storage at the Cryonics Institute’s Michigan facility.
The Cryonics Institute was incorporated in Michigan on April 4, 1976 by four local residents: Richard C. Davis, Robert Ettinger, Mae A. Junod and Walter E. Runkel. CI's first client was Ettinger's mother in 1977, and until the beginning of the 1990s, the only other client was Ettinger's first wife in 1987.
In March 1978, The Cryonics Institute purchased a building near Detroit. It served as its location until 1994, when the organization moved to the new Erfurt Runkel Building. It is named after John C Erfurt and Walter E. Runkel (who are now both in suspension there), and has a sprinkler system for additional security.
Robert Ettinger was CI President for over 25 years until September 2003, when Ben Best became President/CEO and Robert Ettinger became Vice-President. Mr Ettinger retired as Vice-President on his 87th birthday in December 2005, but remained a Director until new directors were elected in September 2006. For most of the 1990s, Benjamin Best was President of the Cryonics Society of Canada (CSC) and was Editor of Canadian Cryonics News until the last issue was published in Spring of 2000. He is still a Director of CSC.
In 2003, an article was published in Sports Illustrated magazine centering on the cryonics organization Alcor; the article contained accusations from a fired Alcor employee alleging Alcor had mishandled the cryopreservation of baseball player Ted Williams. Although the Cryonics Institute was not involved in the case, the media hype spurred the state of Michigan to place CI under a "Cease and Desist" order for six months.
Subsequently, the Michigan government decided to license and regulate the Cryonics Institute as a cemetery. As a result, the perfusion of the bodies could not be performed in the Cryonics Institute building from 2004 to 2012. In accordance to law, this was done at the facilities of a funeral director. In 2012, the new Michigan Republican government reversed the Cryonics Institute's classification as a cemetery, removing it from cemetery regulation.
The Cryonics Institute has 12 Directors on its Board of Directors four of whom are elected by the members every year at the Annual General Meeting (usually held on the last Sunday of September). The Board then selects the Officers: President, Vice-President, Secretary and Treasurer. All members of the board are volunteers.
|Chief of Operations/Secretary||Andy Zawacki|
|Chief Communications & Social Media||Stephan Beauregard|
|Chief Financial Officer/Treasurer||Patrick Heller|
|Chief Investment Office/Asst Secretary||Joseph Kowalsky|
|Chief Business Office/Asst Treasurer||S.R. Luyckx|
|Chief CI Risk||John Strickland|
|Chief Legal Officer||Connie Ettinger|
|Chief Financial Advisor||Paul Hagen|
|Chief Overseas Director||Marta Sandberg|
|Chief Organizational & Director||Debbie Flemming|
The Cryonics Institute only allows its members to arrange for whole body storage, not heads (neuropreservation).
The basic $28,000/$35,000 cryopreservation fees and contract with the Cryonics Institute does not include Standby or Transport. CI members living outside of Michigan must normally provide extra funding (Less than $5000) to pay for Funeral Director services and shipping. CI members in the United States wanting Standby & Transport from cryonics professionals can contract for additional payment to the Florida-based company Suspended Animation, Inc. Cryonics Institute members in Canada wanting Preparation (Perfusion CI-VM-1) & Transport can contract for additional payment between $3,000CDN & $5,000CDN with Magnus Poirier Team 24/24, 7 days a week. CI has had clients from as far away as India or New Zealand.
The Cryonics Institute has always provided initial procedures, transport and storage internally, without contracting out to other providers. For most of its history, CI perfused bodies with the (antifreeze) cryoprotectant glycerol, but in the year 2000 a cryobiologist was hired: Yuri Pichugin, Ph.D.
CI's Scientific Advisory Board currently consists of Peter Gouras, Henry R. Hirsch, Raphael Haftka, Klaus Sames, Ronald G. Havelock,Yuri Pichugin, Robert Duncan Enzmann & Gunter Boden. CI patients can fund the procedure through life insurance policies which name Cryonics Institute as the beneficiary or pay by pre-payment. Members who have signed up wear medical alert bracelets informing hospitals & Dr's to notify CI in case of any emergency; in the case of a person who is known to be near death in USA (Mainland), CI can send a team for remote standby by/with SA.
At The Cryonics Institute, Pichugin developed a vitrification mixture; the first human client received it in the summer of 2005 using a new procedure in which the head was vitrified while still attached to the body, which was frozen without cryoprotectant. In February 2007 the Cryonics Institute abandoned its efforts to patent its vitrification mixture and disclosed the formula to preclude others from preventing its use by CI.[clarification needed] Dr. Pichugin resigned from the Cryonics Institute in December 2007.
In the summer of 2005, the Cryonics Institute obtained custom-built computer-controlled cooling boxes, with LabVIEW software which would allow controlled cooling to a temperature as low as −192 °C (−313 °F). This equipment was necessary for effective application of vitrification, because cooling should be as fast as possible prior to the solidification temperature of the vitrification mixture (about −125 °C), but cooling should be very slow below that temperature to reduce cracking due to thermal stress.
Instead of using dewars for storage, The Cryonics Institute cryopreserves bodies in large fiberglass/resin liquid-nitrogen-filled "thermos bottles" which CI calls "cryostats". The first cryostats were hand-built in-house by Facilities Manager Andy Zawacki, but now the units are custom built by an external manufacturer. Costs for liquid nitrogen in the newest and most efficient cryostats was below $100 per human body per year in May 2006. Cost reduction is greatly assisted by the use of a 3,000 gallon bulk tank for liquid nitrogen, which is located behind the building. From this central point the liquid nitrogen gets distributed to the cryostats over a system of pipes. Liquid nitrogen is refilled on a weekly basis and does not need electricity to operate.
Neuropreservation refers to the practice of cryopreserving only the head. The theory is that only the information contained in the brain matters, and that a new body could be cloned or regenerated at some point in the future. The Cryonics Institute does not offer this option, partially because it may cause extra damage to the patient, and partially because the idea of "frozen severed heads" may alienate the public.
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- Bridge, Steve (1992). "Fifteen Years in Cryonics". Alcor Indiana newsletter (Alcor Indiana). Retrieved August 24, 2009.
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