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Professor David Pegg

Contact Details:
Medical Cryobiology Unit
Department of Biology (Area 5)
University of York
YO10 5YW
Tel: 44-(0)1904 32 8716
Fax: 44-(0)1904 32 8609




University of London



University of London


William Julius Mickle Fellow

University of London

1956 - 1968

Clinical & Lecturer posts

Westminster Medical School

1968 - 1978

Scientific Staff

MRC Clinical Research Centre

1978 - 1992


MRC Medical Cryobiology Group

1993 - present

Director, Medical Cryobiology Unit

Biology Department, University of York


Personal Chair

University of York


Key research interests
The research of the Medical Cryobiology Unit concerns mechanisms of freezing injury and cryoprotection in biology, concentrating on those mammalian systems that are of medical interest. We are particularly interested in the problems that arise when approaches developed for the preservation of living cells at very low temperatures are applied to multicellular organised systems (tissues and organs). Current projects include work on cornea, cartilage, blood vessels and cardiac valves and we are becoming increasingly involved in studies of the cryobiology of tissue engineered graft materials. Much of our work is of a basic scientific nature - trying to understand the various mechanisms of freezing injury that occur in different tissues - but some is more closely related to immediate clinical needs arising in tissue banks, for example the effects of processing of bone grafts and dermal implants used in the treatment of extensive burns. I am an advisor on cryobiology to the National Blood Service, The Department of Health and the Human Embryology and Fertilization Authority.

Two References

  • ROBINSON, M.P., WUSTEMAN, M.C., WANG, L-H. and PEGG, D.E. Electromagnetic rewarming of cryopreserved tissues: effect of choice of cryoprotectant and sample shape on uniformity of heating. Physics in Medicine and Biology, 47, 2311-2325, 2002.
  • WUSTEMAN, M.C., PEGG, D.E., ROBINSON, M.P., WANG, L-H, and FITCH, P. Vitrification media: toxicity,permeability and dielectric properties. Cryobiology, 44, 24-37, 2002.

That a combibnation of propylene glycol and trehalose is effective for the cryopreservation of cells by vitrification; that is, under conditions where no ice forms during cooling, even to very low temperatures.

Awarded the William Julius Mickle Fellowship of the University of London, 1968
Awarded MRCPath, Royal College of Pathology, 1967 for research in experimental pathology
Awarded FRCPath, Royal College of Pathology, 1998 for research in experimental pathology

Professional activities
Advisor on cryobiology, National Blood Service 1993 - present
Research Adviser on Cryobiology to the National Blood Service.
Past Chairman of the Society for Low Temperature Biology
Past President of the Society for Cryobiology
Editor-in-Chief of the journal CRYOBIOLOGY (Elsevier) and a member of the Editorial Board of CELL AND TISSUE BANKING. Has authored or edited 6 books and over 200 refereed publications, mostly in the fields of cryobiology and tissue banking.


  • Title: Development of vitrification techniques for mammalian tissues
    Funding source: BBSRC

  • Title: Investigation of the mechanism of freezing injury in articular cartilage and the development of an effective cryopreservation technique.
    Funding source: National Blood Service


Post doctoral fellows

Monica C Wusteman
Project concerns vitrification

Shaozhi Zhang
Modelling of transport of cryoprotectants in tissues


Lihong Wang
Project concerns cryopreservation of cartilage

Elspeth Sissons
Project concerns vitrification