Birth Anniversary of Rita Levi-Montalcini

22 Apr 2020  Wed

Rita Levi-Montalcini was an Italian American neurologist who, with biochemist Stanley Cohen, shared the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1986.

Levi-Montalcini was born on April 22, 1909, in Turin, in northwestern Italy to a Sephardic Jewish family. Her mother was an artist, and her father was an electrical engineer. In 1936, Levi-Montalcini received her MD degree from the University of Turin, and in 1940, she received a degree for specialization in neurology and psychiatry from the same institution. From 1936 to 1938, she was an assistant at the Neurology Clinic at the Turin School of Medicine, and in1938, she spent a year as a researcher at the Neurology Institute in Brussels, Belgium.

She was awarded the 1986 Nobel Prize for medicine or physiology for discoveries of fundamental importance in understanding the mechanisms that regulate the growth of cells and organs. On 22 April 2009, she became the first Nobel laureate to reach the age of 100, and the event was feted with a party at Rome's City Hall. At the time of her death, she was the oldest living Nobel laureate.

Levi-Montalcini was honored as a Nobel laureate on a stamp issued by Italy in 2013.

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