Joint statement by Mikhail Gorbachev, Green Cross International (GCI) Founding President, GCI Chairman Jan Kulczyk, and GCI President Alexander Likhotal, on the passing of Professor Rita Levi-Montalcini.
Green Cross International mourns the passing of Professor Rita Levi-Montalcini, the Italian Nobel Prize laureate for medicine, a member of our Honorary Board and the Honorary President of Green Cross Italia.
Prof Levi-Montalcini, who was 103 years old, died on 30 December, 2012.
The end of 2012 coincides with the passing of one of the world’s truly great humanitarians. As a medical practitioner, neurologist, scientist, and environmentalist, Rita Levi-Montalcini was a role model for people throughout her native Italy, and all over the world. Her energy, determination, compassion and charm were hallmarks of Professor Levi-Montalcini.
Her work in helping further the work of Green Cross Italia was invaluable, as she was a bridge between many fields and walks of life: science, nature, politics, and, notably, the youth of Italy, with whom she spent much time to share her knowledge and experience, and motivate them to achieve their potential.
Dr. Levi-Montalcini and her colleague, Dr. Stanley Cohen (b. 1937), won the Nobel Prize in medicine in 1986 for discovering NGF (nerve growth factor), a substance found in malignant tumors that cause nerve fibers to grow rapidly, and EGF (epidermal growth factor), which is used to treat severe burns.
In 2001 she was appointed Senator-for-life by then President of the Italian Republic, Carlo Azeglio Ciampi. She actively took part in Upper House discussions, when she was not partaking in academic activities around the world.
Her funeral will be held on 2 January, 2013, in her birthplace of Turin, Italy.