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Nobel laureate and life senator Montalcini 100th

The 100th birthday of Life Senator and Nobel laureate Rita Levi Montalcini was feted in style at the presidential Quirinale Palace with President Giorgio Napolitano describing her as a ''great woman of science''.

Montalcini said ''today I have the privilege of turning 100 maintaining my ability to think and decide, and to be able to continue to work on my research''.

''The only thing we can be grateful for living for is the ability to understand what values are. The body dies but the messages we have sent in our lifetime remain. And my message is to believe in values,'' she added.

''I believe that the most important thing I have done in my life is to dedicate all the time possible to those in need. Because this is the most important thing one can do, the things which brings joy to living,'' Montalcini said. Among those attending the celebration were former president Caro Azeglio Ciampi, who made Montalcini a life senator in 2001; fellow Nobel laureate Carlo Rubbia; Giovanni Conso, chancellor of Italy's prestigious Lincei Academy; and Life Senators Giulio Andreotti and Emilio Colombo.

Montalcini received the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1986 with the US scientist Stanley Cohen for their discovery of the Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) in the peripheral nervous system.

by S. C.
22 april 2009, World News > Italy