Rita Levi-Montalcini: Woman of the Ages

October 6, 2011 |  Tagged | Comments Off on Rita Levi-Montalcini: Woman of the Ages

Rita Levi-Montalcini has been recognized for many things in her life. In 1963, she was the first female scientist to be awarded the Max Weinstein Award, given for her contributions to neurological research. She has also been the recipient of the International Feltrinelli

Rita Levi-Montalcini receiving the Max Weinstein Award from the United Cerebral Palsy Association, 1963

Medical Award of the Accademia Nazionale die Lincei, Rome (1969), the William Thomson Wakeman Award of the National Paraplegia Foundation (1974), the Lewis S. Rosentiel Award for Distinguished work in Basic Medical Research of Brandeis University (1982), the Louisa Gross Horwitz Prize of Columbia University (1983), and the National Medal of Science (1987).

She is most well known for being the winner of the Nobel Prize in 1986 for her discovery of the Nerve Growth Factor (NGF). Later that same year, she was awarded the Albert Lasker Award for Basic Medical Research. This award recognizes scientists that have contributed a great deal to the scientific word, more specifically the medical world. The recipients of the Albert Lasker Awards, have advanced  the world’s understanding in many diseases that have affected the world. For Rita Levi-Montalcini, it was cancer, the NGF increased knowledge about tumors.

Rita Levi-Montalcini has done so much for the world of science, and at 102 years of age, she’s not finished. Today, she runs an all-female laboratory that conduct research on her previous work. She also has a foundation to raise money for African women to go to college and pursue a career in science. The Italian government also gets the pleasure to work with her, for she is a senator, and uses her power anytime she can for science. She has been named an ambassador for the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, and campaigns against world hunger.  During all of this, she even had time to write and publish her own autobiography, “In Praise of Imperfection”. Levi-Montalcini is very passionate about what she does. I believe that she is an amazing role model for perspective scientists. She has dedicated her life for science, and does not boast in what she her research and what she has accomplished, all that matters is that she did something to help the world.


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