Dr. Robert G. Edwards is the recipient of this years prize, and the Fertility Centers of New England wish to both congratulate him and thank him for making our entire field possible.
Dr. Edwards was born in Leeds, England in 1925 and received his education at University of Wales in Bangor and went on to do a PhD at Edinburgh University in Scotland, where he was a pioneer in studying embryo development in mice. His interest in embryos lead him to attempt, for the first time ever, the fertilization of human oocytes outside of the body, while working at Johns Hopkins University in Maryland. When he returned to the UK he realized that to use his exciting results in a clinical setting he would need to team up with a clinician, and so began the amazing collaborations of Robert Edwards and Patrick Steptoe, resulting in the birth of the world’s first human baby from in vitro fertilization. Since 1978, when Louise Brown was born, there have been over a million babies’ world wide born, that without Drs. Edwards and Steptoe, would not exist. They overcame much criticism and hardships to bring the concept into what we have now, an established clinical procedure helping couples attain their dream of a family.
On a personal note, Dr. Edwards has been a teacher, mentor and friend since I first met him in 1981. He has led the field in new ideas and has never been too busy to teach and share his vast knowledge and insights into the world of reproduction. I offer my personal thanks and congratulations to him, as I would not be here in this position today without his inspiration and example. Congratulations Bob!
Lynette Scott, PhD