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Mourning the Loss of IVF Pioneer, Robert G. Edwards
a blog by Kim Griffiths, April 10, 2013
Fertility Authority joins the infertility community in mourning the loss of Dr. Robert G. Edwards, pioneer of in vitro fertilization (IVF). He is best known for treating Lesley Brown, who gave birth to the first IVF baby, Louise Brown in 1978.
In 2001, Dr. Edwards documented in a paper published in Nature Medicine that he had first thought of the IVF procedure as a Ph.D. student at Edinburgh University in the 1950s. Modeling his work after mouse studies, Dr. Edwards used hormone therapy to mature eggs retrieved of donated ovarian tissue, then transferred to fertility patients. Despite many disappointments, Dr. Edwards was not only able to mature human eggs, but also fertilize them with human sperm in a lab. After the birth of the first IVF baby, Dr. Edwards co-founded the Bourn Hall IVF center in Cambridge, England.
Dr. Edwards was awarded a Nobel Prize in 2010 for his astounding accomplishments in reproductive medicine, and was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2011 for his contributions to the field.
Linda Giudice, MD, PhD, President of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine said of Dr. Edwards: “[He] was a great scientist whose stellar scientific work advanced our understanding of human reproduction, human embryonic stem cells, advanced pre-implantation genetic diagnosis and revolutionized the treatment of infertility. We extend our condolences to his family, and his many friends around the world.”
Dr. Edwards is survived by his wife, Ruth Edwards, their five children, and 12 grandchildren. He was 87 years of age and had been ill for some time.