Remember Rita Levi-Montalcin – Nobel Work, Noble Age 103

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The 98 year-old mother of neuroscience special...

Dr. Rita Levi-Montalcini’s contributions in medicine are well known. Her work revolutionized the study of neural development, from how we think about it to how we intervene,” says Gerald Fischbach, a neuroscientist and professor emeritus at Columbia University, tells the Times.,

Rita Levi-Montalcini was a neurologist, studied differentiation, and shared the Nobel with her colleague Stanley Cohen at the University of Washington in St. Louis for their discovery of growth factors, notably of nerve growth factor. They won the 1986 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.

Brief Bio of Dr. Rita Levi-Montalcini:

Levi-Montalcini, was born in 1909 in Turin. She convinced her strict Victorian father to let her enroll in medical school, which she graduated from in 1936. Two years later, though, Mussolini barred non-Aryan Italians from professional careers, but the Times notes that Levi-Montalcini continued her research in a makeshift lab at home. During the course of the war, she and her family left Turin for the countryside and then for Florence. Shortly after the war, she took up a position at WashU, intending to stay for a year, but remained there for about 30 years, the Los Angeles Times adds. Levi-Montalcini returned to Rome in 1977.

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