Photo from the Nobel Foundation archive.
Born: 7 July 1843, Corteno, Italy
Died: 21 January 1926, Pavia, Italy
Affiliation at the time of the award: Pavia University, Pavia, Italy
Prize motivation: "in recognition of their work on the structure of the nervous system."
Prize share: 1/2
During the 19th century researchers learned to stain tissues to allow study under a microscope. In the 1870s Camillo Golgi discovered that nerve cells could be stained with silver nitrate. This led to groundbreaking studies of how the nervous system is structured and functions. Golgi maintained that all nerve cells in the nervous system constituted a continuous, interconnected network. This led to a protracted disagreement with Santiago Ramón y Cajal, the leading proponent of another opinion. Eventually, Cajal's ideas prevailed.