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Ian Johnston

For the Irish cricketer of the same name, see Ian Johnston (cricketer)

Ian Johnston (Walter Ian Harewood Johnston, February 16, 1930 – March 19, 2001) was one of the true pioneers of reproductive medicine in Australia. He was a primary contributor to the development of human IVF (In vitro fertilisation) in Melbourne, Australia. He was the Head of the Reproductive Biology Unit at the Royal Women's Hospital, Melbourne and was the founding President and Honorary Life Member of The Fertility Society of Australia. Ian was known as the 'founding father of IVF in Australia'

One of his greatest moments was the announcement of the first Australian IVF pregnancy and the third of such pregnancies in the world. The birth of the first Australian IVF baby, Candice Reed on June 23, 1980 was a moment of great national pride. (Note: The world's fourth IVF baby was also born at the Royal Women's Hospital.)

On 26 January, 2001, Ian was awarded with Member of the Order of Australia for service to medicine. He lost his struggle with laryngeal cancer a few months later.

Additional recommended knowledge



  • His footprints are all over the pioneering technologies of IVF” – Alan Trounson, RBM Online, 2001
  • "It's [IVF] part of my life. I wouldn't be here without it" - Candice Reed, The Sydney Morning Herald, December 1, 2005.


  • Scotch College, Melbourne
  • University of Melbourne, graduating in medicine in 1954.
  • Master of Gynaecology & Obstetrics, University of Melbourne, 1964.


  • Founding President and Honorary Life Member of The Fertility Society of Australia
  • Member of the Order of Australia (2001). For service to medicine, particularly in the areas of infertility and reproductive biology, through the development of treatment techniques, pioneering the use of laparoscopy as a diagnostic tool, and the establishment of support and counselling services for patients and their families.
  • Royal Australian and New Zealand Collegeof Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. 2001 Honour Board


Johnston appeared in the documentary Chasing God as a scientist.


  • Reproductive BioMedicine Online, Volume 2, Number 3, May 2001, pp. 215-215(1). Author: Alan Trounson. Publisher: Reproductive Healthcare Ltd. [1]
  • The Fertility Society of Australia. [2]
  • Discovery Newsletter, (a publication of the royal women’s hospital division of research & education), June 2001. [3]
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Ian_Johnston". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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