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.

About SMFI Pioneers

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.

The beginning of IVF

Bringing IVF to Georgia

Learning about human IVF in Australia in the '80s

The beginning of IVF in the U.S

The birth of the first IVF calf in 1981

The first IVF baby born in Georgia

Delivering the first IVF baby in Augusta, GA

Egg freezing & donation

Witnessing the world's first human egg donation

How Italy helped shape the future of egg freezing

Learning how to freeze mice embryos

Advancements in IVF & infertility treatment

Improvements in using fertility drugs with IVF

Key IVF advances in the past 30 years

Reducing multiple pregnancies

Drug companies' role in fertility medicine

IVf pioneer didn't win Nobel until 2010

Helping a woman who was an IVF baby herself


The future of IVF

Helping found Republic of Congo fertility center

Making egg donation less expensive

The doctors dicuss personhood laws