03:40am Friday 20 October 2017

Making babies: IVF in Australia

Test Tube Revolution: The Early History of IVF

Test Tube Revolution: The Early History of IVF

In Test Tube Revolution: The Early History of IVF, Professor John Leeton AM, part of the highly successful Monash IVF team responsible for producing Australia’s first IVF baby in 1980, tells the story of his friend Emeritus Professor Carl Wood AC, and colleagues led the Australian initative to create and implement this profoundly important medical procedure.

Professor Leeton was a member of the team that produced the first test tube baby in Australia in 1980 along with Professor Wood, Professor Alan Trounson and Professor Bill Walters. He established the first clinical IVF program at Monash University in 1971 and was its clinical director until 1984.

Professor Leeton said a defining episode came in his career in 1973 when he operated on and repaired the damaged fallopian tubes of an infertile patient from rural Victoria as well as collecting eggs.

“I collected four ripe eggs from her ovaries during the same procedure. These eggs underwent a routine IVF procedure and two resulting embryos were transferred back two days later,” Professor Leeton said.

“Surprisingly she became pregnant two weeks later – the second IVF pregnancy recorded in the world. The pregnancy unfortunately lasted only eight days but it demonstrated that a future IVF pregnancy could eventually deliver a live baby.

“It was an exciting time for IVF research both here in Australia and overseas culminating in the birth of the first Australian IVF baby in 1980.”

Fellow IVF research team member Professor Trounson, now the President of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine in the USA, will launch Test Tube Revolution: The Early History of IVF.

Test Tube Revolution: The Early History of IVF on will be launched on Monday 16 September in Banquet Room 10, Level 1, Campus Centre, Clayton campus starting at 5.30pm.

RSVP (essential) by 15 September to Sarah Cannon on 03 9905 0526 or by email sarah.cannon@monash.edu.

Test Tube Revolution: The Early History of IVF is available through Monash University Publishing.


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