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. Edwards founded Bourn Hall Clinic in Bourn, Cambridgeshire. Steptoe was medical director there until his death in 1988. Steptoe and Edwards developed in vitro fertilization (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 endoscope). Jean Purdy, a nurse and embryologyist, was also an important contributor to the development of IVF. Louise Brown, the first test-tube baby conceived using IVF, was born in Manchester, England, on July 25, 1978.

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