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Nobel Prizes and Laureates

Nobel Prizes and Laureates

The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1986
Stanley Cohen, Rita Levi-Montalcini

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Rita Levi-Montalcini - Facts

Rita Levi-Montalcini

Rita Levi-Montalcini

Born: 22 April 1909, Turin, Italy

Died: 30 December 2012, Rome, Italy

Affiliation at the time of the award: Institute of Cell Biology of the C.N.R., Rome, Italy

Prize motivation: "for their discoveries of growth factors"

Field: biochemistry, cell physiology

Prize share: 1/2

Investigated How the Nervous System Grows and Develops

Human beings develop from a single cell that divides to form new cells. These new cells then also further divide and multiply. Little by little, different types of cells with different functions are formed. Rita Levi-Montalcini has contributed to our knowledge of how this process works. In 1952 she succeeded in isolating a substance harvested from tumors in mice that caused vigorous nervous system growth in chicken embryos. The discovery of what are now known as growth factors has provided a deeper understanding of medical problems like deformities, senile dementia, delayed wound healing, and tumor diseases.

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