This week, British embryologist Robert Edwards was awarded the 2010 Nobel Prize in Medicine for the development of clinical in vitro fertilization (IVF), launching the field of reproductive medicine. Two UCSF reproductive health experts were interviewed by media covering the Nobel awards. Linda Giudice, MD, chair of the UCSF Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, was interviewed live for an Oct. 4 KCBS radio program, and Marcelle Cedars, MD, head of the UCSF Division of Reproductive Endocrinology, and Infertility was quoted in a Wall Street Journal article the same day.
Edwards’ pioneering efforts led to the birth of the first test-tube baby, Louise Brown, in 1978 and launched a field of research that has helped millions of infertile couples and individuals have children. The new science supported the future development of the field of human embryonic stem cell research, and gave insight into environmental influences in embryo development, as well as an ongoing discourse on the ethics associated with these technologies.
As Cedars told the Journal reporter, “This was something that had immediate real-world applications. It has touched the lives of so many people in such a profound way.”
Over the years, UCSF has been leading the way in translating and fine tuning reproductive health discoveries into effective patient care. Shortly after Edwards’ success, the first UCSF IVF patient was treated in 1983, and in 1984, the first UCSF IVF babies were born. The UCSF Center for Reproductive Health led by Cedars continues to have one of the highest pregnancy rates in the country, through the use of the latest technology and personal care. UCSF also is a leader in achieving pregnancy and birth through the use of intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), a more refined technique that involves injecting a sperm into an egg to fertilize it. This innovative approach requires just one sperm for every egg that is fertilized.
In addition, as more and more patients with cancer are surviving their diseases, UCSF is addressing quality of life issues such as fertility preservation. A multi-disciplinary team including reproductive endocrinologists, urologists, psychologists, and genetic counselors, as well as the expertise of clinical embryologists and experts in gamete biology, is moving the field of clinical care and research forward.
Patient Care Research News Center
Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research Center Center for Reproductive Sciences Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences
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