Manchester-born Professor Sir Robert Edwards whose pioneering IVF work led to world’s first test-tube baby dies

By Mancunian Matters Staff

The IVF pioneer whose work led to the birth of the world’s first ‘test-tube baby’ at Oldham General Hospital has died at the age of 87.

Professor Sir Robert Edwards, born and raised in Manchester, passed away peacefully in his sleep after a long illness.

His ground-breaking work experimenting with IVF more than 50 years ago led to the birth of ‘test-tube baby’ Louise Brown in 1978.

In 2010 Professor Edwards was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for the development of in-vitro fertilization, which we now know as IVF.

The University of Cambridge, where Professor Edwards was a fellow, announced the death today.

“It is with deep sadness that the family announces that Professor Sir Robert Edwards, Nobel prizewinner, scientist and co-pioneer of IVF, passed away peacefully in his sleep on 10th April 2013 after a long illness,” they said.

“He will be greatly missed by family, friends and colleagues.  Please respect the family’s privacy at this sad time.”

Since he and Dr Patrick Steptoe developed the technique more than four million babies have been born via IVF around the world.

In 2011, Professor Edwards, who attended Manchester Central High School on Whitworth Street, was knighted ‘for services to human reproductive biology’.

Picture courtesy of University of Cambridge, with thanks.

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