Professor Simon Fishel is the Founder and President of the CARE Fertility Group – the UK’s largest independent provider of fertility services.
He began his research career at the University of Cambridge in 1975 with Bob Edwards, who was responsible – with Patrick Steptoe – for the birth of the first IVF baby Louise Brown in 1978. During 1978-1980 he was the first to publish on the metabolic responsiveness of embryos to their environment, and he also published on demonstrating the presence of specific uterine glycoproteins suggesting bidirectional signalling. Simon joined Patrick and Bob at Bourn Hall, the world’s first dedicated IVF clinic, as Deputy Scientific Director when it opened in 1980, where he was part of the original clinical team undertaking IVF. In 1979 he was appointed a Research Fellow at Churchill College. In 1980 he was awarded the prestigious Beit Memorial Fellowship and in 1984 was the first to publish on the secretion of HCG by the human embryo.
He has published over 200 scientific papers and three books and, with Alison Campbell, the first atlas of time-lapse images of the human embryo. His pioneering work in the field of IVF has resulted in many honorary awards around the world.
In 1992 he founded the world’s first degree course in IVF and he has advised several international government committees reviewing policy and legislation on IVF, including advisors to the Vatican. In 1997 he was awarded a Personal Professional Chair in Human Reproduction. He is an elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology and in 2009 was honoured by the Liverpool John Moores University with their highest award of ‘University Fellow’ for ‘outstanding contribution to science and to humanity’.
He is the founder of the Rachel Foundation, a charity for research to help children rendered infertile due to medical treatment, and also to help raise awareness for secondary infertility.
His professional interests span all elements of human reproduction, fertility and embryology, and IVF technologies in particular.