Domenica, 21 Ottobre 2018

Nobel neurobiologist Levi-Montalcini laid to rest in Italy


Rome, January 2 - Thousands of Italians turned out
to pay their last respects to Nobel Prize-winning neurobiologist
Rita Levi-Montalcini in Turin where she was buried on Wednesday.
Levi-Montalcini, 103, died in her Rome home on Sunday.
She was laid to rest next to the remains of her twin sister
Paola, an accomplished painter.
The scientist and Life Senator received the Nobel Prize for
Medicine in 1986 with the US scientist Stanley Cohen for their
discovery of the Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) in the peripheral
nervous system, which was pivotal to cancer research.
She was born in Turin on April 22, 1909 to Jewish parents
and earned a degree in medicine and surgery from the city
university in 1936, despite her father's objection to women
After specialising in neurology and psychiatry she began to
work as a university assistant but, in 1938, was forced by
Fascist persecution laws to leave her job.
She continued her research from her home, creating a
makeshift lab in her bedroom where she studied the development
of chicken embryos.
In 1946 she began a 30-year career in Washington University
in St. Louis, Missouri, where she conducted her most important
Levi-Montalcini was the oldest living Nobel laureate and
the first ever to live to 100.
The centenarian, who in 2009 was feted with a 100th
birthday party in Rome's city hall, worked well into her final
At her Turin funeral Wednesday, Italian President Giorgio
Napolitano sent a special wreath of pink roses and white
Visitors included Education Minister Francesco Profumo and
Labor Minister Elsa Fornero.
The family has set up a website,, for
those who wish to leave a note of remembrance.

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