ITALY – Rita Levi Montalcini: I discovered stem cells in the 40s

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Rita Levi-Montalcini
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Rita Levi Montalcini discovered stem cells in the 40s and 50s while studying nerve growth factor (NGF), for which she later won a Nobel Prize.
We discovered stem cells before they became so important,” said Montalcini in Rome, also speaking on behalf of her collaborators at an event in her honor at the Accademia dei Lincei. “We called them tanycytes and we noticed that they had the ability to react with and were very receptive to NGF.”

Endocrinologist Luciano Martini introduced Montalcini at the event: “The importance of stem cells today is largely due to the work of Rita Levi Montalcini and her discovery of NGF.” Montalcini later said that she discovered NGF “together with Cohen,” referring to her colleague, Stanley Cohen, with whom she shared the Nobel Prize in 1986.

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2 thoughts on “ITALY – Rita Levi Montalcini: I discovered stem cells in the 40s”

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