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Levi-Montalcini (Levi-Montalcini), Rita

( Italian-American biologist, Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, 1986)

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Biography Levi-Montalcini (Levi-Montalcini), Rita
genus. April 22, 1909
Italian-American biologist Rita Levi-Montalcini was born in Turin, one of two twin sisters in the family of Levi. She added to her name mother's maiden name when she started a scientific career. Although LA-M. occurs, it is characteristic of an intellectual Jewish family, his father was old-fashioned idea that women ought not to seek professional success. Nevertheless, completing secondary education, it is against the will of the father was admitted to the medical school at the University of Turin in 1936. received a medical degree, and in 1940. - Another, with a specialization in neurology and psychiatry. Among her classmates were Turin Renato Dulbecco, and Salvador Luria. Her training as a specialist included work as an assistant in Histology and Embryology, Giuseppe Levi in Neurological and Psychiatric Clinic of the University of Turin, as well as studies in neurology institute in Brussels Belgium. That Giuseppe Levi awakened her interest in neyroembriologicheskim research.
During the war in 1940 ... 1943. When anti-Semitic laws of the fascist Italian government forbade her to work at the university, L.-M. continued to conduct research in the bedroom of his home near Turin. After the Nazis occupied northern Italy, she moved to Florence, where contrived to work in his small apartment. In 1944, when the Allies began to liberate Italy, she has provided medical services to American military authorities in the camp for Italian refugees. In 1945, Mr.. she was able to return to his research work as an assistant to the Institute of Anatomy University of Turin.
AL-M. was heavily influenced by the work, . conducted in the United States, Viktor Hamburger, . neurobiology and embryologist at Washington University in St. Louis, . despite his objections to her new ideas, . is, . that the programmed death of nerve cells is important for normal development of nervous system,
. At the invitation of Hamburger AL-M. in 1947. came to St. Louis to work with him as a fellow of the Zoological Branch of the University of Washington. Several modifying experiments performed earlier American anatomist Elmer Buekerom, they did transplant mouse tumor cells of chicken embryos and found that the nerve cells of the embryo quickly sprouted into the tumor tissue. The same thing happened when the tumor was not in direct contact with the embryo. These observations prompted L.-M. that the growth of nerves has a stimulating effect of an unknown substance in the tumor. Since embryological methods were laborious and time-consuming, L.-M. decided to take advantage of successfully developing in those days, tissue culture as the most efficient way to conclusively prove the existence of the substance. In 1952, Mr.. AL-M. traveled to Rio de Janeiro, to learn the necessary methods from his girlfriend Greta Meyer. In the Brazilian laboratory she cut mouse tumor tissue into small pieces, and cultivated them in the blood of chicken embryos and extract, then added the sensory nerve cells of chicken embryos and carried out the incubation mixture. In the first 12 hours of nerve fibers began to proliferate in the direction of pieces of tumor, then surround them, forming a characteristic halo. Further experiments showed that extracts of tumors were not less effective than the tumor itself. The existence of stimulating substances seemed certain, and LV-M. called him a factor in the growth of nerve tissue (FRNT).
In 1953, Mr.. to L.-M. joined the University of Washington, an American zoologist, and biochemist Stanley Cohen. As a result of their collaboration has been established that FRNT - protein and that the venom and salivary glands from adult male mice are more rich its sources, rather than tumor. Cohen cleared FRNT, determined its chemical structure and has antibodies to FRNT. Two of the experimenter discovered that these antibodies not only inhibit the action FRNT, but can selectively and permanently destroy the sympathetic nervous tissue (related to the reduction of blood vessels and secretion of glands). Cohen, opened as the second substance, which he observed from the fact that it is contaminated drugs FRNT, describing it as epidermal growth factor (EGF), t. to. it stimulated the growth of skin cells and corneal. AL-M. continued to study the biological effects and mechanisms of action FRNT.
In 1951, Mr.. AL-M. - Associate Professor, and in 1958. - Professor, University of Washington. In the 60-ies. She began to spend more time with his family in Italy and, together with Pietro Anzheletti organizing laboratory at the Higher Institute of Health in Rome. In 1961 ... 1969. this laboratory has participated in a comprehensive research program in conjunction with the University of Washington. AL-M. known as the mastermind of all the works, staff often continued to work on problems FRNT from personal attachment to the head, when instead the cash subsidy. In 1969. AL-M. organized the laboratory of cell biology at the Italian National Research Council in Rome until 1979, Mr.. was its director, and then - a staff researcher. From 1969 to 1977. She - Professor Department of Biology, Washington University. Initially, only one laboratory LA-M. researched FRNT, but thanks to her efforts in neurobiological science were opened vast new industry in the development of which involved scientists from many countries now.
. Initially, the idea of growth, such FRNT, was seen not too happy
. He was not a conventional hormone, causing temporary metabolic reactions, as was previously unknown type of molecular substances necessary for the development and survival of specific types of cells. In the future, have been discovered many other growth factors in t.ch. EGF Cohen, factors, stimulators colonies (FSK), a growth factor platelet origin (FRTP), fibroblast growth factor (FRF) and interleukins (IL-1, IL-2). In 80-ies. It was shown that oncogenes - the genetic elements that cause cancer, have the code for the production of proteins, similar in structure to growth factors and their receptors (chemical education at the cell surface, binding certain substances). This finding may indicate that the occurrence of cancer is caused by disturbances in the regulation of growth factors. Have been identified as growth factors, various types of nerve cells and developed methods for their therapeutic use: for example, the use FRNT to repair damaged nerves, or EGF to improve the efficiency of transplantation of skin.
AL-M. and Cohen were awarded the Nobel Prize 1986. 'in recognition of their discoveries that are fundamental for understanding the mechanisms regulating the growth of cells and organs'. Opening FRNT made L.-M., has been called 'an amazing example of how an experienced researcher can create the concept of the apparent chaos'. L.-M., which had never been married, has close ties with his family and lives in Rome, along with twin sister Paola Levi - artist. AL-M. - Cheerful elegant woman hearted and considerate in their relations with staff and friends. In St. Louis it soiree with a narrow range of guests are famous for exquisite food and intellectual conversation. Addition to working in Rome Laboratory, LA-M. helping young scientists and has made many efforts to achieve progress of science in Italy. She has dual nationality - Italy and the United States.
In addition to the Nobel Prize, LS-M. received numerous awards and honors in Italy, . as well as awards William Thomson Wakeman paraplegicheskogo National Fund (1974), . Lewis Rozenstila awards for outstanding achievement in basic medical research, . awarded Brandeis University (1982), . Prize Louisa Gross Horwitz, Columbia University (1983), . Albert Lasker Award for basic medical research (1986),
. She - a member of Garveevskogo Society, . American Academy of Arts and Sciences, . U.S. National Academy of Sciences, . Belgian Royal Academy of Medicine, . Italian National Academy of Sciences, . European Academy of Sciences, . Arts and Literature, . Florentine Academy of Arts and Sciences,
. In addition, it is - holds honorary degrees from Uppsala University, Weizmann Institute, College of St.. Mary and the University of Washington Medical School.

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Levi-Montalcini (Levi-Montalcini), Rita, photo, biography
Levi-Montalcini (Levi-Montalcini), Rita, photo, biography Levi-Montalcini (Levi-Montalcini), Rita  Italian-American biologist, Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, 1986, photo, biography
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