IVF Pioneer Robert Edwards Awarded Nobel Prize for Medicine

Robert Edwards of Britain was awarded the 2010 Nobel Prize in medicine October 4th for developing in vitro fertilization, a breakthrough that has helped millions of couples struggling with fertility to become parents.

In 1978, the work of Professor Robert Edwards led to the birth of Louise Brown, who became known as the world's first 'test tube baby'. Professor Edwards, along with fellow scientist Dr. Patrick Steptoe, developed in vitro fertilization, or IVF, which over the last three decades has grown into perhaps the most recognizable fertility treatment.

Thirty two years after the birth of Ms. Brown, who now has a child of her own conceived naturally, Professor Edwards has been awarded the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine. Speaking with The Times of London, Professor Edwards, himself from West Yorkshire in England, joked in 2003 that being overlooked for knighthood did not concern him, "[b]ut if you can organize a Nobel, please go ahead."

Edwards, who is now 85 years old, was awarded the Nobel for pioneering IVF, which has led to millions of births and has helped countless otherwise infertile individuals achieve their dream of becoming parents. The committee awarding Professor Edwards the prize notes, "[Edwards'] achievements have made it possible to treat infertility, a medical condition afflicting a large proportion of humanity, including more than 10 percent of all couples worldwide."

In vitro fertilization has become for many a beacon of hope when experiencing infertility. It has successfully helped many couples build their families and has brought joy to countless individuals across the globe. If you'd like to learn more about in vitro fertilization and how it may be able to help you, consult a fertility specialist in your area.

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