Prof Robert Winston
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Professor Lord Robert Winston was born in 1940 and named Robert Maurice Winston. He graduated at London University in 1964 and held junior posts at the London Hospital from that time. In 1970 he joined the Hammersmith Hospital as a Registrar and became involved in research and development in gynecological microsurgery.
He is well known today to audiences throughout the world for his several BBC television series, which include The Human Body, Secret Life of Twins, Superhuman and Child of Our Time, and through which he has shown a great capacity for communicating often-complex science to a wide public audience. He is Professor of Fertility Studies at Imperial College School of Medicine, London University, and is world-renowned as a fertility expert. He also heads the Department of Reproductive Medicine at the Hammersmith Hospital in London.
His research into embryology and genetics is internationally recognised. As a researcher into human reproduction, Lord Winston helped develop techniques for sterilisation reversal. The improvements he has developed in fertility medicine have subsequently been adopted world-wide.
Contrary to popular belief Lord Winston was not part of the team that produced the first test-tube baby in 1978 but he has been most prominent in many areas of research related to various aspects of human reproduction, and founded the first NHS (British National Health Service) In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) Programme. His group's research enabled families with a history of a particular genetic disease to have children free of fatal illnesses.
Lord Winston is the author of many books, including Infertility - a sympathetic approach (1985); Getting Pregnant (1989); and Making Babies (1996).
Created a Life Peer in 1995, he comments on a wide range of medical, ethical and scientific issues in Parliament, scientific journals and the media. He was recently Chair of the House of Lords Select Committee on Science and Technology. He is also Chancellor elect of Sheffield Hallam University.
He currently researches transgenic technology, particularly for models of human disease and organ transplants. He is also continuing to make efforts towards developing methods for maturing eggs outside the body as this would make IVF treatment more affordable and accessible and less intrusive to the hopeful parents.
For his several publications about fertility and pregnancy for a lay readership, Winston was awarded the Royal Society's Michael Faraday Gold Medal. He has approximately 300 scientific publications in learned journals (including Nature, Science, New England Journal of Medicine, Lancet) and various books, and writes regularly for the lay press.
His interests include directing theatre productions (National Directors' Award, Edinburgh Festival 1969), matters of Jewish interest, classical music, and skiing. He is involved with a number of UK charities, including the Imperial Cancer Research Fund - of which he is a council member. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA) and a member of The Athenaeum.