The Italian Nobel prize-winning neurologist Rita Levi-Montalcini has died at the age of 103.
Miss Levi-Montalcini lived through anti-semitic discrimination under fascism to become one of Italy’s top scientists and most respected figures.
She won acclaim for her work on cells, which furthered understanding of a range of conditions, including cancer.
In 1986 she shared the Nobel prize for medicine with biochemist Stanley Cohen for research carried out in the US.
Her niece, Piera Levi-Montalcini, told La Stampa newspaper that she had died peacefully “as if sleeping” after lunch.
Her aunt had continued to carry out several hours of research every day until her death, she said.
Rita Levi-Montalcini was born in 1909 to a wealthy Jewish family in the northern city of Turin, where she studied medicine.
But after she graduated in 1936 the fascist government banned Jews from academic and professional careers, and Miss Levi-Montalcini set up a makeshift laboratory in her bedroom, experimenting on chicken embryos.
Written By: BBC Newscontinue to source article at bbc.co.uk