Robert Geoffrey Edwards
Edwards, Robert Geoffrey, 1925–, British physiologist, Ph.D. Edinburgh Univ., 1955. He joined the faculty at Cambridge in 1963, where he is now professor emeritus. Working with British surgeon Patrick Steptoe, Edwards developed in vitro fertilization (IVF), a procedure in which egg cells are fertilized outside the body and implanted in the uterus for development as a typical pregnancy. Edwards pioneered a method to fertilize human eggs outside the body, while his collaborator provided the means to extract the eggs using a laparascope. Louise Brown, the first "test-tube baby" conceived using IVF, was born in Manchester, England, on July 25, 1978. Although Edwards and Steptoe met with a great deal of hostility and criticism when they were developing the technique in the early 1970s, IVF subsequently became a widely accepted approach to infertility. Edwards received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2010 for the development of IVF.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: Medicine: Biographies