For Terminology Tuesdays this week, I would like to take a moment to thank Dr. Robert G. Edwards for his amazing achievements in medicine.
On October 5th, 2010 (32 years after the birth of Louise Brown, the first test tube baby), Dr. Robert Edwards was awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine for pioneering IVF.
According the Nobel Prize press release, Robert Edwards is awarded the 2010 Nobel Prize for the development of human in vitro fertilization (IVF) therapy. His achievements have made it possible to treat infertility, a medical condition afflicting a large proportion of humanity including more than 10% of all couples worldwide.
The press release goes on to say, Approximately four million individuals have so far been born following IVF. Many of them are now adult and some have already become parents. A new field of medicine has emerged, with Robert Edwards leading the process all the way from the fundamental discoveries to the current, successful IVF therapy. His contributions represent a milestone in the development of modern medicine.
But, who is Dr. Edwards? The Nobel Prize press release states, Robert G. Edwards was born in 1925 in Manchester, England. After military service in the Second World War, he studied biology at the University of Wales in Bangor and at Edinburgh University in Scotland, where he received his PhD in 1955 with a Thesis on embryonal development in mice. He became a staff scientist at the National Institute for Medical Research in London in 1958 and initiated his research on the human fertilization process. From 1963, Edwards worked in Cambridge, first at its university and later at Bourn Hall Clinic, the world’s first IVF centre, which he founded together with Patrick Steptoe. Edwards was its research director for many years and he was also the editor of several leading scientific journals in the area of fertilization. Robert Edwards is currently professor emeritus at the University of Cambridge.
Every day I am able to do what I do because I stand on the shoulders of giants. I am able to help couples realize their dreams of parenthood because of pioneers like Dr. Edwards. I also would not be a father if it were not for the amazing technology of in vitro fertilization. My son was born after 4 attempts of IVF. My son has forever enriched my days and given my life more meaning.
Thank you Dr. Edwards, thank you!
Dr. Lowell T. Ku, M.D. is a leading Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility specialist at Dallas IVF, one the nation’s premiere infertility centers. Dr. Ku clarifies the many confusing terms used in the world of Infertility using straightforward explanations.