Robert G. Edwards
The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2010
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."
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.
Their work and discoveries range from cancer therapy and laser physics to developing proteins that can solve humankind’s chemical problems. The work of the 2018 Nobel Laureates also included combating war crimes, as well as integrating innovation and climate with economic growth. Find out more.