Source: AAP/Sydney Morning Herald, September 27, 2011)
For tens of thousands of families around the world, Carl Wood was a miracle worker.
The pioneer of in vitro fertilisation, Professor Wood died last Friday after suffering from Alzheimer’s disease for some years. He was aged 82.
The Australian scientist helped infertile couples welcome 45,000 babies into their families.
Prof Wood’s ground-breaking work in developing the radical method of reproduction in the mid-1970s saw him dubbed “the godfather of IVF”.
“I was always interested in proving things,” the famous gynaecologist told TV interviewer George Negus in 2004.
“That’s how I got into in vitro fertilisation, you see.
“Because, when I first started to make little embryos and things, the university refused to help me. They said they didn’t think I’d be respectful.”
Before finding worldwide fame, Prof Wood graduated from Melbourne University with degrees in medicine and surgery in 1952.
Shortly after, he moved to London, where he married his Australian girlfriend Judith.
The couple moved back to Australia after Prof Wood was made Foundation Professor of the Monash University Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology in 1964.
He won global acclaim for his pioneering work in obstetric physiology, fetal monitoring, psychosomatic obstetrics, gynaecology and birth control.
Then came the IVF breakthrough.