Pioneering IVF: History of IVF Video Library
About this video project
On May 19, 2017 the department of Archives at the University of Georgia (UGA) interviewed Servy Massey Fertility Institute physicians, Dr. Joe Massey and Dr. Edouard Servy, as well as Ben Brackett, PhD, about their experiences related to the history of in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatment. UGA elected to interview the doctors because of the significant roles they played in the development of IVF and related fertility treatments, such as egg freezing, intrauterine insemination (IUI), intracytoplasmic injection (ICSI) and blastocyst transfer.
Collectively, these doctors have been involved in many fertility treatment “firsts,” including the delivery of the first babies conceived through IVF in Georgia, the first pregnancy after ICSI, the first pregnancy after assisted hatching and the first birth after embryo cryopreservation at the blastocyst stage following ICSI.
Dr. Servy and Dr. Massey are also credited with starting one of the first low-cost IVF fertility centers in the United States: Servy Massey Fertility Institute. Today, they continue to practice in Atlanta and Augusta, Georgia, with the goal of making fertility treatment more accessible for all.
Dr. Brackett was a long-time partner of Dr. Massey and helped him found the first IVF clinic in Georgia.
About Dr. Ben Brackett – In Dr. Massey’s words
In vitro fertilization pioneers included physicians to be sure, but most of the credit should go to the animal reproductive scientists such as Bob Edwards, Alan Trounson and Ben Brackett. Dr. Brackett was world-renowned for his in vitro fertilization expertise in rabbits before moving on toward work in humans. He most famously produced the first successful IVF in a cow.
I had the good fortune to recruit Ben Brackett to Georgia to found the first successful IVF Center in Georgia in 1983. When Dr. Brackett moved to Georgia, he became the head of the Animal Reproduction Section of the Veterinary School at the University of Georgia, where he continued to teach a number of people how to do animal IVF. Many of them have gone on to careers in human infertility.