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Rita Levi-Montalcini, an Italian neurologist who, together with Stanley Cohen, received the 1986 Nobel Prize in Medicine for their discovery of the nerve growth factor (NGF), died today in Rome. She was 103. Born in Turin to a Jewish family in 1909, Rita Levi-Montalcini moved to St. Louis in 1946 to work for Washington University, and she stayed for thirty years. In 1952 she isolated the nerve growth factor, the first substance known to regulate the growth of cells. In 1968 she became the tenth woman elected to the United States National Academy of Sciences. From 1961 to 1978, she directed the Research Center of Neurobiology of the CNR (Rome), and the Laboratory of Cellular Biology. She also founded the European Brain Research Institute, and served as a Senator in the Italian Senate from 2001 to today. In 1987, she received the National Medal of Science, the highest American scientific honor. 

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