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Robert Edwards, a founder of ESHRE, honored as Nobel laureate

Brussels, 4th October 2010 -- ESHRE, the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology, warmly and proudly welcomes today's announcement that the Cambridge reproductive biologist Robert Edwards has been awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine.

Bob was a founder member of ESHRE and became the Society's first chairman in 1985. The following year, under his drive and direction, ESHRE published the first issue of its journal, Human Reproduction, with Bob as editor, a role he was to continue for the next 15 years.

Working with the gynaecologist Patrick Steptoe, Bob had pioneered the birth of the world's first IVF baby, Louise Brown, who was born in Oldham, UK, on 25th July 1978. Her birth - as well as Bob's own enthusiasm and personal guidance - proved an inspiration to many other groups around the world to establish their own IVF programmes.

Dr. Luca Gianaroli, ESHRE's current chairman, says: "Without Bob there would be no ESHRE and no Human Reproduction, and all of us working in reproductive medicine would be the poorer for that. There can be few embryologists or IVF specialists today whose career and expertise have not been shaped in some way by ESHRE's training and journals - and this is something we all owe ultimately to Bob.

"This is a proud day for ESHRE, and just reward for Bob whose pioneering work, often in the face of huge opposition, has brought fulfilment to so many families."

Today, ESHRE is the only group in the world to systematically collect IVF data on a cycle-by-cycle basis. The latest estimates, when added to other reports, put current global IVF activity at 1.5 million cycles per year. This corresponds to around 300,000 babies born each year, and a cumulative total of 4.3 million since Louise Brown in 1978. Average delivery rate treatment (in 2006) was 22.1%,


Contact: Hanna Hanssen
European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology

Page: 1

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