Steptoe, Patrick Christopher

Steptoe, Patrick Christopher,

1913–88, British surgeon, M.D. St. George Hospital Medical School, Univ. of London, 1939. Steptoe worked at Oldham General Hospital from 1951 to 1980, when he and British physiologist Robert G. EdwardsEdwards, Sir Robert Geoffrey,
1925–2013, British physiologist, Ph.D. Edinburgh Univ., 1955. In 1963 he became a research fellow at Cambridge. He was associated with the university until his death, and became professor of human reproduction there in 1985 (emeritus from
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 founded Bourn Hall Clinic in Bourn, Cambridgeshire. Steptoe was medical director there until his death in 1988. Steptoe and Edwards developed in vitro fertilizationin vitro fertilization
(IVF), technique for conception of a human embryo outside the mother's body. Several ova, or eggs, are removed from the mother's body and placed in special laboratory culture dishes (Petri dishes); sperm from the father are then added, or in many cases a
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 (IVF) in the 1970s despite significant hostility and criticism; Steptoe developed the procedure for the extraction of human eggs using the techniques of laparoscopic surgery (see endoscopeendoscope,
any instrument used to look inside the body. Usually consisting of a fiber-optic tube attached to a viewing device, endoscopes are used to explore and biopsy such areas as the colon and the bronchi of the lungs.
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). Louise Brown, the first "test-tube baby" conceived using IVF, was born in Manchester, England, on July 25, 1978.