In Vitro Fertilization and the Nobel Prize for Medicine

nobel medal in medicine

The 2010 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was announced on Monday. The prize was awarded to a British scientist for his role in developing human in vitro fertilization (IVF) therapy. IVF is a process by which egg cells are fertilized by sperm outside the body, in vitro.

Over the years, IVF has helped millions of infertile couples worldwide have children. Biologist and physiologist Robert G. Edwards, age 85, at the University of Cambridge, developed the technique with obstetrician and gynecologist Patrick Christopher Steptoe, who died in 1988. The prize is worth about $1.5 million and is the first awarded in the area of reproduction.