Nobel Prize for Robert Edwards, British IVF Pioneer
Although controversy surrounded the first test tube baby, Louise Brown was born and set a precedent that changed the chances of women who were infertile to have a baby.
Physiologist Robert Edwards and his partner Patrick Steptoe made medical history in 1969 when they successful fertilized eggs outside a human body. Indeed hope for many women who were unable to conceive were born on that historic occasion, the result was the first ‘Test Tube Baby” Louise Brown on 25 July 1978, since then milions of women have successfully been able to have babies and fulfil hopes and dreams of completing a Family.
Patrick Steptoe who made a significant contribution died in 1988, and although according to the statutes of the Nobel foundation cannot be jointly awarded this prestigious prize, he is still remembered as a colleague who worked with Robert Edwards, and his contribution is worthy of mention.
Robert Edwards has been rewarded for his pioneering work with such a deserving accolade as The Nobel prize for physiology or medicine for 2010. As emeritus professor at the University of
Cambridge, Professor Edwards has now further added to this well known University’s prestige.
Robert Edwards, his wife Ruth and family are thrilled that he was chosen for this award. Certainly the annuals of history for many years to come will ring with joy as more women benefit from this wonderful pioneering work.
Statistics say that one in ten women are unable to conceive a baby, IVF is an answer to many women’s chances of successfully being able to carry baby to term and complete a family. So many couples have been given this wonderful gift of life, and without the determination of Professor Edwards and his colleagues, would never have had their dreams realised.
Louise Brown was thrilled when she heard that Robert Edwards had received the award. Louise is now 32 years old lives in Bristol UK, is married and has a son who was conceived in the normal way and the birth was a normal birth.
Three decades have passed, and millions of babies have been born through the help of IVF, the technique is well established. From the initial work of Robert Edwards, many advances have been made since then, there is less trauma of egg extraction due to improvements, and today a single sperm cell can be injected into an egg.