On 25 July, 1978 a healthy baby girl was born to Lesley and John Brown of Bristol, UK following nine years of infertility. They named their new daughter Louise Joy Brown. Birth is a remarkable event, but what made this birth even more astonishing was that the Brown’s baby girl was conceived through In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) brought about by the pioneering efforts of the of Cambridge University team lead by Dr Patrick Steptoe, a gynecologist and Dr. Robert Edwards a physiologist. For his innovative contribution to Science, Dr. Edwards was awarded the 2010 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. He was also made a Knight by Queen Elizabeth II in the 2011 Birthday Honors for his service to human reproductive biology.
Five million babies have been born using IVF since the birth of Louise Brown. Dr. Simon Fishel, a member of the original Steptoe and Edwards Cambridge team responsible for the birth of Louise Brown said in ‘The Telegraph,, 1 July, 2012: ”The five million milestone not only justifies all the legal and moral battles, the ethical debates and hard-fought social approval, it is also a testament to the great scientists and doctors who have worked so hard to improve the treatment.”
The Fertility Centers of New England is proud to have contributed approximately 0.1% (over 5,000) of the total 5 million world-wide IVF births.