British scientist Robert Edwards, who won a Nobel Prize award for his pioneering work in developing In Vitro Fertilisation, died on Wednesday. He was 87.
“It is with deep sadness that the family announces that Professor Sir Robert Edwards, Nobel Prize winner, scientist and co-pioneer of IVF, passed away peacefully in his sleep on April 10, 2013 after a long illness,” the New York Post quoted the University of Cambridge as saying in a statement.
The physiologist won the Nobel Prize for medicine in 2010, three decades after the birth of the world’s first test-tube baby, Louise Brown, in 1978, and five decades after he first began experimenting.
Born in Yorkshire in northern England on September 27, 1925, into a working-class family, he served in the British army during World War II before he returned home to study agricultural sciences and then animal genetics.
Building on earlier research which showed that egg cells from rabbits could be fertilised in test tubes when sperm was added to it, Edwards developed the same technique for humans.