Colleague delighted with Nobel for test tube baby pioneer

4th October 2010, Comments 0 comments

A colleague of in vitro fertilisation pioneer Robert Edwards, who won the Nobel Medicine Prize on Monday, said his work had improved the lives of millions of people.

Professor Edwards, now 85, and Patrick Steptoe, a gynaecologic surgeon, developed IVF technology in which egg cells are fertilised outside the body and implanted in the womb. Steptoe died in 1988.

The British pair's groundbreaking work led to the birth of the world's first test tube baby, Louise Brown, in 1978.

Mike Macnamee, chief executive of Bourn Hall, near Cambridge, the IVF clinic which Edwards founded, said: "Bob Edwards is one of our greatest scientists.

"His inspirational work in the early sixties led to a breakthrough that has enhanced the lives of millions of people worldwide.

"Bob Edwards is held in great affection by everyone that has worked with him and was treated by him. I am really pleased that my great mentor, colleague and friend has been recognised in this way."

A spokeswoman for Bourn Hall said Edwards was in a frail state of health and would not be giving interviews.

© 2010 AFP

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