September 24, 2022

Pioneer in the Field of Reproductive Medicine Recognized

HALIFAX, NS Dr. Al Yuzpe, Chief Medical Officer for The Fertility Partners and a pioneer in reproductive medicine, was awarded The Lifetime Achievement Award at the 68th Canadian Fertility and Andrology Society (CFAS) Annual Meeting.

The Lifetime Achievement Award is a special recognition of an individual for extraordinary commitment and proven long-term contributions to the nonprofit CFAS and the field of reproductive science.

Referred to as the grandfather of in-vitro fertilization (IVF) in Canada, Dr. Yuzpe introduced new treatments, technologies, and procedures that revolutionized the field of fertility medicine in North America and worldwide.

“We have always held tremendous respect for Dr. Yuzpe’s decades of experience and tireless commitment to improving fertility medicine,” said Dr. Andrew Meikle, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of The Fertility Partners (TFP). “The Lifetime Achievement Award from the CFAS is a great honor and well deserved. I know the entire TFP network is beyond proud to consider him part of the team.”

Dr. Yuzpe’s research on hormones in the 1960s led to the development of clomiphene citrate and human menopausal gonadotropins and greater clinical understanding of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), some of the most commonly used drugs in fertility medicine today. In 1971 his work led to the development of an emergency contraceptive method using regularly available birth control pills, also referred to as “the Yuzpe method.”

the flying doctors teaching team of the aagl circa 1975

Dr. Al Yuzpe, fourth from left, formed “the Flying Doctors” with a group of colleagues in the early 1970s. These physicians were members of a teaching team who trained fertility doctors worldwide on the then-novel use of laparoscopy for infertility treatment. In 1973 Dr. Yuzpe and his colleague Drs. Jacques Rioux authored the first training manual of laparoscopy. From left to right: Dr. Louis G. Keith, Dr. Alvin M. Siegler, Dr. Carl J. Levinson, Dr. Al Yuzpe, Dr. Jordan M. Phillips.

Dr. Yuzpe was among the first physicians to bring laparoscopic surgery for infertility to North America after learning the technique from his Canadian colleague Dr. Jacques Rioux. In 1982 he founded one of the first IVF centers in Canada at the University of Western Ontario and brought to Canada the procedure of IVF developed by peers Dr. Robert Steptoe and Dr. Patrick Edwards, the U.K. physicians responsible for the world’s first IVF birth in 1978.

Dr. Yuzpe has consulted and advised IVF and infertility treatment physicians all over the world, and continues to advance the field of fertility medicine through his role with The Fertility Partners and as the co-founder and co-director of Olive Fertility Center in Vancouver.

In addition to his role as Chief Medical Officer with The Fertility Partners, Dr. Yuzpe is also the co-founder and co-director of Olive Fertility Centre. Dr. Yuzpe, Dr. Beth Taylor, Dr. Jason Hitkari, and Dr. Gary Nakhuda founded the Vancouver-based fertility practice in 2013 – the same year Dr. Yuzpe celebrated his 75th birthday.

“Over the past few years, I have had the opportunity to develop a strong relationship with Dr. Al Yuzpe,” said CFAS Executive Director Dr. Goldi Gill. “Reflective of his knowledgeable and humble character, he is always willing to lend a helping hand to both me and the CFAS, an organization he has been an integral part of for so many years. I am thrilled that he is receiving this prestigious award, as it demonstrates his dedication to the CFAS, as well as the greater field of assisted reproductive technology (ART).”

The CFAS is a multidisciplinary national non-profit Society that serves as the voice of reproductive specialists, scientists, and allied health professionals working in the field of Assisted Reproduction in Canada. Dr. Yuzpe, a former CFAS President, remains an active member of the society.

In 2014, Dr. Yuzpe received an Alumni of Distinction Professional Award from the University of Western Ontario, where he completed his medical degree, master’s and residence and was a faculty member until he retired from the university in 1995.

“When I first began my career in obstetrics and gynecology in the 1970s, we didn’t have very much to offer those who suffered from infertility,” said Dr. Yuzpe. “Now there is so much we can do. I feel fortunate to have worked with so many great minds over the years and to have been a part of the growth of fertility medicine. Thank you CFAS for the honor. Together, we have achieved great things.”

Dr. Yuzpe’s contributions to education, research, and innovation greatly advanced fertility treatments that have helped patients worldwide build families. Today, more than eight million babies have been born from IVF.

Read more about Dr. Yuzpe’s contributions here.

About The Fertility Partners

The Fertility Partners is the business partner of choice for distinguished fertility practices across North America. With a network that includes 13 IVF centers across 36 locations in the U.S. and Canada, the Fertility Partners empowers leading fertility practices to achieve unparalleled patient experiences and outcomes through collaboration, strategic expertise and investment in people, process and technology.

Media contact

Mary Conway

P: 516-606-6545