Illustrated information

Nobel Poster from the Nobel Committee for Physiology or Medicine, web adapted by

The road to IVF
A historic delivery
Credits and references

The Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institutet has awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2010 to Robert G. Edwards for the development of human in vitro fertilization (IVF). His achievements have made it possible to treat infertility, a medical condition afflicting a large proportion of humanity including more than ten percent of all couples worldwide.

Robert G. Edwards

Robert G. Edwards
Robert Edwards was born in 1925 in Batley, Yorkshire, UK. During most of his academic career in reproductive physiology, he worked in Cambridge, UK, where he and his coworkers also started the world’s first IVF centre, Bourn Hall Clinic. Robert Edwards is currently professor emeritus at the University of Cambridge.

Couple The road to IVF

A historic delivery

On July 25th 1978 the world’s first IVF baby, Louise Brown, was born as a result of Robert Edwards’ new treatment. The event attracted worldwide attention and marked the beginning of a new era in medicine.

Louise Brown

IVF – a safe and effective treatment

IVF is now an established treatment when sperm and eggs cannot meet by natural means. Twenty to thirty percent of implanted eggs lead to the birth of a child. Complication risks are very small if only one egg is transferred into the uterus. Long-term follow-up studies have shown that IVF children are as healthy as other children.

Search for a new enzyme

Four million children – so far

Approximately four million children have so far been born with the help of IVF technology. Several IVF children have given birth to their own healthy children, and this is perhaps the best evidence for the safety and success of IVF therapy. Robert Edwards’ vision is now a reality, and brings joy to families all over the world

Credits and references for the 2010 Nobel Poster for Physiology or Medicine

Scientific Advisors, Professors at Karolinska Institutet: Göran K Hansson, Medicine, Secretary of the Nobel Assembly; Outi Hovatta, Obstetrics and Gynecology; Christer Höög, Genetics; Klas Kärre, Immunology, Chairman of the Nobel Committee; Hugo Lagercrantz, Pediatrics; Urban Lendahl, Genetics

Medical writer: Ola Danielsson

Illustrations and layout: Mattias Karlén

Copyright © 2010 The Nobel Committee for Physiology or Medicine

Web adapted version:

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