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British ‘Test Tube Baby’ Pioneer Robert Edwards Dies

April 10, 2013

Robert Edwards, a British Nobel prize-winning scientist who pioneered the development of “test tube babies” conceived through in-vitro fertilisation (IVF), died on Wednesday after a long illness, his university said.
Edwards, who won the Nobel prize for medicine in 2010, started work on fertilisation in the 1950s, and the first so-called test tube baby, Louise Brown, was born in 1978 as a result of his pioneering research.
He founded the world’s first IVF clinic in his home town of Cambridge, eastern England in 1980.
“It is with deep sadness that the family announces that Professor Sir Robert Edwards, Nobel prize winner, scientist and co-pioneer of IVF, passed away peacefully in his sleep,” Cambridge University said in a statement.
It said he would be greatly missed by family, friends and colleagues, adding “his work has had an immense impact throughout the world”.

Professor Robert Edwards, 85, won the 2010 Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine for his pioneering work on the in vitro fertilisation of human eggs that led to the birth of the world’s first IVF baby, Louise Brown, in 1978. Professor Edwards, whose funding request for IVF research was turned down by the Medical Research Council (MRC) in the 1970s, is the sole recipient of the prize, which cannot be awarded posthumously. His co-worker, the gynaecologist Patrick Steptoe, died in 1988.

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