2021 NIH Freezer Challenge Results

Eight labs and one IC participated in the 2021 NIH Freezer Challenge to improve freezer management, increase freezer reliability, and reduce energy consumption. 

The challenge was held from January 1 to May 1 of 2021. Challenge initiatives ranged from maintenance options, such as defrosting freezers, to laboratory best-management practices, such as changing the temperature setting of Ultra-Low Temperature (ULT) freezers from -80°C to -70°C. Changing the temperature setting of an ULT freezer from -80°C to -70°C reduces the amount of work that the compressor does, which increases freezer reliability and reduces energy consumption by about 20%. These results show the power each lab has to incrase freezer reliabilty while also protecting the environment. Imagine what we could do if the entire NIH joined in! Participate in the 2021 Freezer Challenge to help out!


                 2021 NIH Freezer Challenge Participants
ICLABPIFreezer Challenge POC
NCILaboratory of Cell BiologyMichael M. Gottesman, M.D.Barbara Murphy, M.S., M.T.
NCIMolecular Oncology and Gene Transfer SectionDennis Hickstein, M.D.Thomas Bauer, Ph.D.
NEILaboratory of Immunology, Molecular immunology SectionCharles Egwuagu, Ph.D.Cheng-Rong Yu, Ph.D., M.D.
NHLBILaboratory of Myeloid MalignanciesChristopher Hourigan, M.D., D.Phil.Chidera Nosiri
NIAIDViral Epidemiology and Immunity UnitLeah Katzelnick, Ph.D., MPHAna Coello Escoto
NIDDKGenetics and Metabolism Section of LDBCaroline C. Philpott, M.D.Minoo Shakoury-Elizeh
NIEHSRTP Campus Freezer Replacement Initiative Kerri Hartung/Paul Johnson
NIEHSIn Vivo NeurobiologyGuohong Cui, M.D., Ph.D.Amy Papaneri, M.S.
NIEHSComparative Medicine Branch, Quality Assurance LabDavid Kurtz, D.V.M, Ph.D.Tanya Whiteside
NIEHSReproductive Medicine Group, RDBLCarmen Williams, M.D., Ph.D.Elizabeth Padilla-Banks
NINDSTranslational Neuroradiology SectionDaniel S. Reich, M.D., Ph.D.Amanda Lee

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                 2021 Freezer Challenge Initiatives 
Challenge InitiativesTotal
Conduct a complete freezer defrost60 freezers and refrigerators
Replace old freezers/refrigerators  with an energy efficient model67 freezers and refrigerators
Discard samples that are no longer needed30,096 samples
Retire unnecessary freezers (-86°C)7 freezers
Retire unnecessary freezers (-20°C to -40°C)13 freezers
Retire unnecessary refrigerators (4°C)8 refrigerators
Maintain an electronic sample inventory137 freezers and refrigerators
Share freezer space with other researchers45 freezers and refrigerators
Change the ULT freezer temperature to (-70°C)17 freezers