Rita Levi-Montalcini at age eleven

Rita Levi-Montalcini at age eleven

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Credit: SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Rita Levi-Montalcini. Photograph of the Italian-Jewish neurophysiologist Rita Levi-Montalcini (1909-2012), aged 11. Despite her family's opposition Levi-Montalcini went to medical school, but when she graduated World War II began and she had to go into hiding. Her early research, on the neuroembryology of the chick, was done in her bedroom. In 1947 she went to Washington University in the US and worked on embryonic nervous systems. She went on to discover the nerve growth factor (NGF) which appears to be critically involved in the growth of nerves of all kinds. Until 1979 she directed the Laboratory for Cell Biology in Rome, & she shared a Nobel prize with S. Cohen in 1986.

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Keywords: 1986, age 11, discoverer, montalcini, nerve growth factor, neurophysiology, ngf, nobel laureate, nobel prize, physiology, portraits, recipient, rita levi, rita levi-montalcini, surname l, winner

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