Harley Street Fertility Clinic is proud to be paying homage to four key fertility pioneers by naming our new consulting rooms after them in a mark of respect. These forerunners have all revolutionised treatment for infertility and have enabled thousands of people around the world the chance of starting a family. Here are the stories behind the names:
Bob Edwards (1925-2013)
Bob Edwards was a Physiologist and one of the innovators of reproductive medicine and IVF. Along with surgeon Patrick Steptoe, Edwards successfully formed conception through IVF which led to Britain’s first IVF baby, Louise Brown born in 1978. In 2010 Bob Edwards was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine for the development of IVF.
Patrick Steptoe (1913-1988)
Patrick Steptoe was a British Obstetrician, Gynaecologist and developer of fertility treatment. Steptoe joined forces with Edwards in pioneering In Vitro Fertilisation. However, the Nobel Prize is not awarded posthumously and therefore Steptoe was not awarded this honour but here at HSFC we believe his enormous contribution should never be forgotten.
Ian Logan Craft (1937-)
British General Surgeon, Obstetrician and Gynaecologist who in 1976, was appointed Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the Royal Free Hospital. Whilst there he conducted ground-breaking work which resulted in Europe’s first IVF twins born in 1982. Later he moved to the Cromwell Hospital, London where a unit was built to his specification to concentrate on the development of assisted conception. In 1984, his team were responsible for Britain’s first triplets and a year later the world witnessed the first birth of a test-tube baby using an LHRH analogue. Many firsts followed GIFT- donor egg- donor egg and sperm- donor embryo – frozen donor embryo – pregnancy with ICSI and the first pregnancy from ICSI. Although some of his methods were considered controversial by a few, without his dedication to furthering fertility treatments we would not have attained todays’ scientific developments or standards.
Lord Robert Winston (1940)
Lord Winston’s career began in Hammersmith Hospital as a registrar and Welcome Fellow in 1970. In 1975 he became a scientific adviser to the World Health Organisation’s programme in human reproduction until he joined The Postgraduate Medical School, London as a Consultant and Reader two years later. After conducting research as a Professor of Gynaecology in 1980, Lord Winston returned to the UK and set up an IVF service at Hammersmith Hospital which pioneered pre-implantation genetic diagnosis, and was celebrated for its progression in identifying defects in human embryos. In conjunction with this, Lord Winston is a passionate teacher and has presented numerous BBC scientific and medical programmes to help make science accessible to the British public.