Nobel Prize-Winning Neurologist Dr. Rita Levi-Montalcini Dead
Nobel prize-winning neurologist Dr. Rita Levi-Montalcini died on Sunday at her home in Rome. She was 103 years old.
She did critical discoveries in chemical tools that are used by the body to control the cell growth and build nerve networks. Her research put the light on how these processes are affected in diseases like dementia and cancer.
Dr. Gerald D. Fishbach, a Neuroscientist and Professor emeritus at Columbia, said her work was revolutionary in the field of neural development. During the World War-II, she was busy studying the embryos of chicken at her home in Turin, Italy; it was the time when the scientist didn't even have any idea of how embryo cells built a latticework of complicated connections to the other cells.
After intensive study into the subject she found a protein that when released by cells attracted nerve growth from nearby developing cells. Announcement of her death was made by Mayor Gianni Alemanno of Rome.
She was born in 1909 in a rich family in Turin and she studied medicine at the same place. "She worked in primitive conditions. She is really someone to be admired", said an Italian astrophysicist, Margherita Hack while talking to Italian TV. She was also an ambassador for UN Food and Agriculture Organization based in Rome.