Rita Levi-Montalcini

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Levi-Montalcini, Rita

(lā`vē-mŏn'təlsē`nē), 1909–2012, Italian-American neurologist, b. Turin, Italy, M.D. Univ. of Turin, 1936. A dual citizen of Italy and the United States, Levi-Montalcini did her most important work with Stanley CohenCohen, Stanley,
1922–2020, American biochemist, b. New York City, Ph.D. Univ. of Michigan, 1948. Cohen did his most important work at Washington Univ. with Rita Levi-Montalcini in the 1950s.
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 at Washington Univ., where she was a professor from 1956 to 1977. Studying mouse tumors implanted in chicken embryos, she discovered nerve growth factor, which he subsequently isolated. It was the first of many cell growth factors found in animals; some of these were also first described by Levi-Montalcini and by Cohen. The discovery of nerve growth factor radically changed the study of cell growth and development. For this discovery Levi-Montalcini and Cohen were awarded the 1986 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.


See her autobiography, In Praise of Imperfection (1988).

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Levi-Montalcini, Rita

(1909–  ) neurobiologist; born in Turin, Italy. While a practicing physician, she resisted German occupation by hiding in Florence and aiding war refugees (1943–45). She taught at the University of Turin (1945–47), then came to the U.S.A. to join Washington University (St. Louis) (1947–77). Her studies of nerve growth factor, isolated in 1952 from cultures of mouse tumor cells, won Levi-Montalcini and collaborator Stanley Cohen the 1986 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine. She divided her time between the U.S.A. and the National Research Council in Rome (1961–89), then moved to Rome permanently to be with her twin sister (1989).
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.
References in periodicals archive ?
(5) Rita Levi-Montalcini, "The Nerve Growth Factor 35 Years Later,"
This year's summation of research begins with a tribute to and interview with Rita Levi-Montalcini, who turned 100 in April 2009; she discovered nerve growth factor, which helped establish the concept of trophic support for cell growth and differentiation.
Rita Levi-Montalcini was born in 1909, and has just turned 90.
It would be a tragedy to exclude women from all this fun." [38] And indeed, for Rita Levi-Montalcini, science is pure joy, as much at eighty-five as at twenty.
Rita Levi-Montalcini, who later won the Nobel Prize for describing proteins that help nerve cells grow and stay healthy.
The history of the nine women Laureates - Gerty Cori, Marie Curie, Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin, Gertrude Elion, Maria Goeppert Mayer, Irene Joliot Curie, Rita Levi-Montalcini, Barbara McClintock, Rosalyn Yalow - and a few of their sisters whose genius was not recognized, including Mileva Einstein Maric, Lise Meitner and Rosalind Franklin - provides "a microcosm of the history of gender politics in science this century."
this year's Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine goes to Rita Levi-Montalcini and Stanley Cohen, the Karolinska Institute announced this week.
Nobelist Rita Levi-Montalcini put it more bluntly in her autobiography, where she refers to "the law of disregarding negative information." According to her, "Facts that fit into a preconceived hypothesis attract attention, are singled out, and remembered.
One of the most notable observations was by Rita Levi-Montalcini, who did much of her microscopy work on brain neurons while in the attic of a private home during World War II.