Tributes paid to ‘test tube baby’ pioneer

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Nobel prize-winning IVF pioneer Professor Sir Robert Edwards has died, aged 87.

Sir Robert was one of two fertility experts whose work led to the birth of the world’s first “test tube baby”, Louise Brown, on July 25, 1978. His colleague Patrick Steptoe, a gynaecologist, died in 1988.

News of Sir Robert’s death was announced on behalf of his family by Cambridge University where he worked for many years in the department of physiology.

Sir Robert was knighted in 2011, a year after receiving the Nobel prize for physiology or medicine in recognition of his achievements in the development of in-vitro fertilisation.

Professor Martin Johnson, one of Sir Robert’s first graduate students at Cambridge between 1966 and 1969, said: “Bob Edwards was a remarkable man who changed the lives of so many people. He was not only a visionary in his science but also in his communication to the wider public about matters scientific, in which he was a great pioneer. He will be greatly missed by his colleagues, students, his family and all the many people he has helped to have children.”