Robert Edwards (physiologist)

Sir Robert Geoffrey Edwards ( CBE , FRS , * September 27 1925 in Batley , England, † April 10 2013 ) was a British physiologist and pioneer in the field of reproductive medicine . Together with British gynecologist Patrick Steptoe, Edwards developed the in vitro fertilization , which he received the 2010 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded.


Robert Edwards – son of Samuel and Margaret Edwards – served after the visit of Manchester High School during the Second World War in the British Army. He studied from 1948 to 1951, the agriculture specialist at the University of Wales, Bangor , and from 1951 to 1957, the trade Genetics at the University of Edinburgh . In 1955 he received his doctorate.
Bourn Hall Clinic

Immediately after graduation he worked for a year as a Research Fellow at the California Institute of Technology . Edwards was in England in 1958, an employee at the National Institute of Medical Research. In 1962, he moved first to the University of Glasgow in 1963 and the University of Cambridge . In 1965 he graduated from a scientific per visitor at Johns Hopkins University in 1966 at the University of North Carolina . Upon his return, Edwards taught physiology at the University of Cambridge. After a year of science at the Free University of Brussels Edwards received in 1985 in Cambridge Professor of Reproductive Medicine, a position he held until 1989.

In 1980, Robert Edwards and his colleague Patrick Steptoe in Cambridgeshire the Bourn Hall Clinic.

He was married to Ruth Edwards and father of five daughters.

In 1960 Edwards was considering getting a embryo in a test tube ( in vitro ): A gynecologist asked him ova and parts of ovaries for trials. Edwards first tried the eggs with his sperm to fertilize and then weiterzukultivieren.

From 1968, Edwards worked with the gynecologist Patrick Steptoe. To gain access to further material, they have women facing a hysterectomy (removal of the uterus) were asked, even before intercourse to have with their husbands. They hoped sperm to get that got into the female reproductive tract. Ethical seen the approach of the two doctors was worthy of discussion. But Edwards’s defense was that he respect the right of his patients to start their own family.

In the years 1972 to 1974 for the first time were embryos transferred to their mothers, but pregnancy did not materialize. Edwards and Steptoe in 1976 reached the first time an ectopic pregnancy . [2] in 1977 the first successful artificial insemination of a woman on 25 July 1978 was the daughter of Louise Joy Brown by her mother Lesley Brown by cesarean birth. [3] At this time, four more women were pregnant, but was only in 1979, a second healthy baby to be born.

Edwards tried the first researcher to supernumerary embryos cryopreserved . During transport to London , however, the transport were only a few and the rest did not survive freezing. Edwards then constructed their own preservation device.

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