Professor Robert Winston

Full / Real Name: Robert Maurice Lipson Winston
Born: 15 July 1940 (78 years old)
Gender: Male



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Robert Winston was born in London to Laurence Winston and Ruth Winston-Fox. His mother became mayor of the former Borough of Southgate, now absorbed into the London Borough of Enfield in 1961.

He graduated from The London Hospital Medical College, London University, in 1964 with a degree in medicine and achieved prominence in the media as an expert in human fertility.

He was one of the pioneers of in vitro fertilization and developed tubal microsurgery and various techniques in reproductive surgery, including sterilization reversal. Having joined Hammersmith Hospital as a registrar in 1970, he was appointed to a Wellcome Research Fellowship and then as Associate Professor at the Catholic University of Leuven (Belgium) in 1975.

He joined the The Royal Postgraduate Medical School, London as consultant and Reader, in 1977. He was dean of the Institute of Obstetrics and Gynaecology until its entry into Imperial College in 1997. As Professor of Fertility Studies at Hammersmith, Winston led the team which pioneered preimplantation genetic diagnosis, which identifies defects in human embryos.

He was the president of the British Association for the Advancement of Science from 2004 to 2005. He is currently researching male germ cell stem cells and methods for their genetic modification. He has published over 300 scientific papers in peer-review journals.

Winston is well-known for presenting several BBC television series, including Superhuman, The Secret Life of Twins, "Child of Our Time" and the BAFTA award-winner The Human Body. A traditional Jew with an orthodox background, he also presented The Story of God, exploring the development of religious beliefs and the status of faith in a scientific age.

Winston was made a life peer in 1995 as Baron Winston, of Hammersmith in the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham. He sits on the Labour Party benches in the House of Lords and takes the government whip.

He speaks regularly in the House of Lords on education, science, medicine and the arts. He was recently Chairman of the House of Lords Select Committee on Science and Technology and is a board member of the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology.

In 1973, Winston married Lira Helen Feigenbaum. They have two sons and a daughter.

Current Positions:

• Chancellor, Sheffield Hallam University (since 2001)
• Emeritus Professor of Fertility Studies, Imperial College London
• Director of NHS Research and Development, Hammersmith Hospitals Trust


• Cedric Carter Medal, Clinical Genetics Society, 1993
• Victor Bonney Medal for contributions to surgery, Royal College of Surgeons, 1993
• Gold Medallist, Royal Society of Health, 1998
• Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences (FMedSci), 1998
• British Medical Association Gold Award for Medicine in the Media, 1999
• Michael Faraday Prize, Royal Society, 1999
• Edwin Stevens Medal (the Royal Society of Medicine) 2003
• Aventis Prize, Royal Society 2004
• Al-Hammadi Medal, Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh 2005

Television Documentaries - as presenter:

• Your Life in their Hands, BBC 1979-1987
• Making Babies, BBC 1995
• The Human Body, BBC, which went by the name, Intimate Universe: The Human Body in the United States, BBC 1998. The series won three BAFTA Awards.
• The Secret Life of Twins, BBC 1999
• Child of Our Time, following the lives of a group of children, all born in 2000, as they grow to the age of 20; BBC 2000, and annually thereafter.
• Superhuman, BBC 2001 (won the Wellcome Award for Medicine and Biology)
• Walking with Cavemen, BBC 2003
• Human Instinct, BBC 2002 Emmy nomination
• The Human Mind, BBC 2003
• Threads of Life, about DNA, BBC 2003 (won the international Science Prize in Paris and the VLV Award for the most outstanding personal contribution to British television in 2003)
• "How to sleep better"
• The Story of God, BBC 2005

Selected Bibliography:

• "Infertility - a sympathetic approach" (1985)
• "Getting Pregnant" (1989)
• "Making Babies" (1996)
• "The IVF Revolution" (1999)
• "Superhuman" (2000)
• "Human Instinct" (2003)
• "The Human Mind" (2004)
• "What Makes Me Me" (2005)
• "The Story of God" (2005)

Television Roles



Host - Himself


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