October 4, 2010 / 11:01 AM / 9 years ago

Factbox: Reaction to the 2010 Nobel medicine prize winner

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Here are some reactions to the announcement Monday that Britain’s Professor Robert Edwards — known as “the father of IVF” — has been awarded the Nobel Prize for medicine:

* Louise Brown, who was the world’s first test tube baby born in July 1978:

“It’s fantastic news, me and mum are so glad that one of the pioneers of IVF has been given the recognition he deserves. We hold Bob in great affection and are delighted to send our personal congratulations to him and his family at this time.”

* Dr Alan Thornhill, scientific director of London Bridge Fertility, Gynaecology and Genetics Center:

“Bob Edwards changed the way we think about having babies.”

“The IVF technique pioneered by Professor Edwards has and will continue to accelerate developments in many other areas of medicine.”

* Robert Edwards’ wife, Ruth, and his family:

“The family are thrilled and delighted that Professor Edwards has been awarded the Nobel Prize for medicine for the development of IVF. The success of this research has touched the lives of millions of people worldwide his dedication and single minded determination despite opposition from many quarters this has led to successful application of his pioneering research.”

Dr. Luca Gianaroli, chairman of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE), of which Edwards was a co-founder:

“Without Bob there would be no ESHRE...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 fulfillment to so many families.”

* Martin Johnson, Professor of Reproductive Sciences at the University of Cambridge:

“I am absolutely delighted. This is long overdue. We nominated him for the Lasker award 10 years ago and he got it immediately so we couldn’t understand why the Nobel has come so late, but he is delighted — this is the cherry on the cake for him.

“Bob’s work has always been controversial but he has never shrunk from confronting that controversy.”

* Dr Allan Pacey, senior lecturer in andrology at University of Sheffield:

“Bob was a visionary and worked hard to develop IVF in a time when so many were against him. It is a tribute to his tenacity that he persevered in his research and as a consequence has changed the lives of millions across the world. My only sadness is that Bob’s failing health may mean that he is less able to enjoy this award than he once was. This is a great day for him.”

* Speaking for the International Federation of Fertility Societies (IFFS), Professor Basil Tarlatzis, who is the immediate past president of the IFFS, said:

“This is a well deserved honor. IVF has opened new avenues of hope for millions of couples throughout the world. It has also had an immense impact on our understanding of medicine.”

“Edwards and Steptoe were real pioneers, and the award of the Nobel Prize honors not just their work, but the whole field of reproductive science. After their breakthrough work, Robert went on to nurture the development of the assisted reproduction. No-one deserves this award more.”

* Richard Kennedy, Secretary General of the IFFS said:

“This is a wonderful achievement. The award of the prize to Robert Edwards is a great testimony to his pioneering work in reproductive science. The development of IVF has given hope to millions of people throughout the world.”

Compiled by Kate Kelland

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