Dr Brian Lieberman and twenty six 'test tube' babies, June 1987.
© Manchester Daily Express / Science & Society Picture Library
Dr Lieberman (b 1942), head of the IVF (in vitro fertilisation) unit at St Mary's Hospital, Manchester, with the children he helped to create, and their parents. IVF is the fertilisation of egg and sperm outside the body. The world's first IVF baby was born in Britain on July 25, 1978. This procedure is now widely available to women who, because of infertility or other problems, would otherwise be unable to conceive. Dr Lieberman says that 'The single most important factor in succesful IVF treatment is the age of the mother, that's followed by the duration of infertility. That more women are delaying having children has mitigated improvements in IVF.'