40 Years of IVF: Past, Present and Future

Progress Educational Trust
King Khalid Building (Symposium Hall), Hill Square, Edinburgh EH8 9ST
24 January 2019
This public event was organised by the Progress Educational Trust (PET) and supported by the Scottish Government.

In January 1979, the world's second ever IVF baby Alastair MacDonald - also the world's first IVF boy - was born at Stobhill Hospital in Glasgow. His mother, Grace MacDonald, had received her fertility treatment in Oldham from the original pioneers of in vitro fertilisation - Professor Sir Robert Edwards, Dr Patrick Steptoe and Jean Purdy.
Grace was one of at least 282 women to undergo the (then experimental) IVF procedure at Oldham between 1969 and 1978, of whom only five became clinically pregnant. Of those five, just two - Lesley Brown (who gave birth to the world's first IVF baby Louise) and Grace (who gave birth to Alastair) - went on to have a live birth.
40 years on, this public event saw Alastair and Grace look back on the circumstances of Alastair's conception, birth and childhood. They were joined by experts, practitioners and regulators who discussed not only the early days of IVF, but also how the world of fertility has evolved since and what its future holds.

Alastair MacDonald
The second person (and the first male) ever to be born who was conceived via IVF
Grace MacDonald
The second woman ever to give birth to a child following IVF
Sally Cheshire
Chair of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, Chair of Health Education England North, and Deputy Chair of the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service
Colin Duncan
Chair of the Society for Reproduction and Fertility, Professor of Reproductive Medicine and Science at the University of Edinburgh and Consultant Gynaecologist at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh
Dr Kay Elder
Senior Research Scientist at Bourn Hall Clinic, previously worked with the pioneers of IVF and went on to publish studies of their notebooks
Dr Abha Maheshwari
Clinical Lead in Reproductive Medicine and Director of the Andrology Laboratory at the Aberdeen Fertility Centre, and Honorary Clinical Senior Lecturer in Reproductive Medicine at the University of Aberdeen

Allan Pacey
Trustee at PET, and Professor of Andrology at the University of Sheffield and Editor-in-Chief of the journal Human Fertility

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