Robert G. Edwards awarded the Nobel Prize of Medicine 2010 for the development of in vitro fertilization

Robert G. Edwards - Biographical. 4 Oct 2010
"Robert G. Edwards - Biographical". 4 Oct 2010

Robert G. Edwards (Manchester, UK, 1925), from the University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK, has been awarded today, October 4, the 2010 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, “for the development of in vitro fertilization“. Robert G. Edwards and Patrick C. Steptoe (1913-1988) performed in 1977 the first successful in vitro fertilization (IVF) in humans, resulting in the birth of the first IVF baby, Louise Joy Brown, in 1978. Since then, 32 years later, more than 4 million children have been born thanks to this IVF technique. IVF was not only developed in humans, thanks to Robert G.Edward’ s pioneer experiments, started in the late 50’s, but in rodents too. Several scientists, including David Whittingham, managed to obtain mice by IVF in the early 70’s. IVF is a powerful technique for the treatment of human infertility and also a tool for producing synchronized embryos of high quality in many species, such as mice. IVF methods are routinely applied in many transgenic units for producing embryos that are suitable for cryopreservation. Subsequent technical developments in reproductive biology, such as ICSI (intracytoplasmic sperm injection), have enriched the toolbox available to gynecologists and scientists in general for obtaining viable mammalian embryos.

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