What happens to human cells when they freeze, and what does that have to do with the
treatment of cancer? Biology Department students and faculty learned the answers
to those questions when distinguished Fredonia alumnus Dr. John Baust visited his
alma mater last November. Dr. Baust is considered one of the world's leading researchers
in the area of cryobiology, and is responsible for the development of cryotechniques
that are used successfully in the treatment of a variety of disease conditions, like
Dr. Baust received his bachelors degree in Biology from SUNY Fredonia, and his Ph.D.
in Biology from the University of Alaska-Fairbanks. He currently holds the positions
of Professor of Biology and Director of the Institute of Biomedical Technology at
SUNY Binghamton, and is also an adjunct Professor of Surgery at the Medical College
of Houston. Dr. Baust has also been a highly successful entrepreneur, in particular
as the founder of BioLife Solutions. BioLife develops, manufactures and markets
solutions that are used for cryopreservation of cells, tissues and organs. He was
also the former senior vice-president and chief scientific officer at Cryomedical
Sciences, Inc. In addition to those activities, he has published a number of articles
in research journals, is co-author of the book Advances in Biopreservation, and is Editor-in-Chief of the journal Cell Preservation Technology.
|The students in Dr. Roger Byrne's Mammalian Physiology class and Dr. Matt Fountain's
Biochemistry class were the fortunate recipients of guest lectures offered by Dr.
Baust. Having already read some of his research articles, the students had the opportunity
to converse with Dr. Baust about his innovative work in the area of cryotherapy.
Students also had the opportunity to chat with Dr. Baust about his work, and research,
internship and graduate school opportunities during a reception hosted by the Biology
Department. Our distinguished guest also offered two seminar presentations during
his visit. In his first seminar, "From Bugs and Butterflies to Cancer Therapies"
Dr. Baust offered a chronicle of his life experiences beginning with his education
at SUNY Fredonia to his present position as an academician, research scientist and
entrepreneur. The audience was treated to a masterful telling of how research activities
initiated as an undergraduate Biology student at Fredonia led to graduate work in
Alaska and the Antarctic, which ultimately led to the development of cryotechniques
for the effective treatment of cancerous conditions. The second seminar, "Cryoablation:
A Marriage of Molecular and Biophysical-Based Approaches to Cancer Therapy" was a
technical seminar focusing on the medical applications of his cryotherapy research,
particularly in the treatment of prostate cancer. His guest lectures and seminars
received rave reviews from students, faculty, staff and administrators.
We are very proud to call Dr. Baust a SUNY Fredonia Biology Department alumnus,
and we are grateful for his willingness to share his time, energy, goodwill and expertise
with his alma mater!