Robert G. Edwards
Born: 27 September 1925, Batley, United Kingdom
Died: 10 April 2013, Cambridge, United Kingdom
Affiliation at the time of the award: University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom
Prize motivation: "for the development of in vitro fertilization"
Field: reproductive medicine
Prize share: 1/1
For many people, having children occupies a central place in their lives, but not everyone can have children in a natural way. A woman's Fallopian tubes may be blocked or there can be too few eggs or sperm cells. Robert Edwards saw a solution to this: removing an egg from the woman, allowing it to be fertilized in a test tube and then replacing it in the woman. He explained how eggs mature and how sperm is activated, and in cooperation with Patrick Steptoe, he found a method for removing eggs from the ovaries. In 1978 the first child was born as a result of in vitro fertilization.