With the Biostasis2022 conference just around the corner (Oct. 21st-23rd, 2022), Tomorrow Bio is conducting a series of interviews with this year's speakers. Our speaker today is Founder, Director and Chairman of Southern Cryonics, Peter Tsolakides. Peter has been integral to the advancement of cryonics in Australia, founding the only cryonics company within the country. He currently offers human cryopreservation services and has pushed projects in the field to make this an affordable and accessible option for everyone.
Peter Tsolakides was first introduced to cryonics after reading Robert Ettinger’s book The Prospect of Immortality. This fascination stuck with him throughout his academic and professional career. With degrees in both Science (Chemistry) and Business Administration, Peter put his talents to use in marketing organization with an international oil company. For over 30 years, he oversaw projects across the globe, including Thailand, Singapore, Japan and the US. The primary focus of his career has been strategic planning, and major project planning, development, and implementation.
Founder, Director and Chairman of Southern Cryonics, Peter has worked to establish a new cryopreservation storage facility in the town of Holbrook, Australia. As a member himself, Peter hopes to continue to progress human cryopreservation in his home country. The conception of this new facility was due in large part to the logistical challenges of transportation to overseas facilities, the majority of which in the mid 2010s were in the US. Despite the interest in cryonics in Australia, there were no long-term storage facilities at the time as the service was non-existent.
It was this issue that prompted Peter to start an organization to develop a cryonics storage facility in Australia, now known as Southern Cryonics. This ambitious project required cooperation with the State Government Health Authority.
Peter Tsolakides had the privilege of speaking at last year's Biostasis2021 conference in Zurich, Switzerland. In his presentation, Peter spoke of the business model and legal framework used for Southern Cryonics’s Biostasis facility in Dover Heights. He addressed the ongoing developments within the cryonics industry in Australia, outlining the background of cryonics there and how Southern Cryonics worked to establish itself as an organization, its challenges, and goals for the future.
You can follow his presentation from last year’s Biostasis2021 conference.
Today, we are happy to hear from Peter in this exclusive interview with Tomorrow Bio.
The idea of cryonics always seemed logical and intriguing to me since my university days after reading Robert Ettinger's "The Prospect of Immortality." My thinking had been that at the time I was retired and consequently would have to start seriously thinking about these things, cryonics would be very widespread. As you can appreciate this was not the case. I retired in Australia about 10 years ago and looked around for what was available. Obviously, cryonics had not grown as I had expected.
The only limited options were suspension in the US, which posed logistics issues if you live in Australia. At that point a group of us got together to see if we could build a facility in Australia. My background has a significant component of long-term major project planning and implementation, which was a help in getting things moving.
We are very close to having the Southern Cryonics facility operational. There was a lot involved in doing that and I am really happy with how it is going although we had a few setbacks primarily due to Covid.
I must admit though I take the most pride in leading the development of a whole cryonics structure for Australia. There is not only the facility (Southern Cryonics), but there is also a professional standby, stabilization and transportation organization (CryoPath); an organization that assists in going through the complex hoops of obtaining life insurance or similar and a cryonics membership/agreement (Cryonics Services Australia); and an organization devoted to handling very long term Trusts (CryoPrime) which involves overcoming all the legal complexities of cryonics specific issues for Trusts that need to last hundreds of years.
Obviously if we are looking into the far future it would be great to know for sure that someone suspended can be restored, but let's stick to the here and now. I think the biggest challenge is remedying the brain shrinkage caused by vitrification. This can be up to 50%. The current thinking is that this can be rectified by nano-technology or some other method developed before the time the patient is reanimated. To me though, shrinking such a complex organ so much and hoping the structure after this shrinkage will bear any meaningful and recoverable relationship to the original seems difficult to accept.
Perhaps it may be more feasible to use aldehyde stabilized techniques, upload the brain, when this is possible, and then download it to a brain-like structure in a new body when this proves possible. The best solution, of course, would be if the shrinkage could be nearly eliminated in the current vitrification method or other similar methods. That is my one "perfect" solution.
To hearing new developments in cryonics and the status of all the other projects in progress.
I am confident as much as you can be confident in anything in Cryonics. There is a reasonable probability that it will work, and it is certainly better than the alternative. However, as I always say, "There are no guarantees in Cryonics".
It’s true, there are no guarantees in cryonics. This is why Tomorrow Bio has worked tirelessly to create the safest possible infrastructure for human cryopreservation services in Europe. The storage facilities in Rafz, Switzerland, and our dedicated team in Berlin are a testament to advancing human cryopreservation.
Thank you, Peter Tsolakides for this insightful interview. We are looking forward to seeing him at Biostasis2022 this year and are excited to learn more about Southern Cryonics’s current progress.
Interested in Biostasis2022? Find out more about the conference and tickets, check out the Biostasis2022 website. We hope to see you there!