Nobel laureate Rita Levi-Montalcini “Lady of the Cells” passed away

image“Lady of the Cells”, as she was known in Italy, Rita Levi-Montalcini  (103) passed away. She was a biologist who conducted underground research in defiance of Fascist persecution and later won a Nobel Prize for helping unlock the mysteries of the cell.

Her major contribution:

Her most significant work was: isolating the Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) from observations of certain cancerous tissues that cause extremely rapid growth of nerve cells. The protein assists portions of the central nervous system that have been damaged by disease or injury. For this discovery, she, together with colleague Stanley Cohen, received the 1986 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. Her research increased the understanding of many conditions, including tumors, developmental malformations, and senile dementia.

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