An Italian-American who shared the 1986 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (with Stanley Cohen) for the discovery of NGF (nerve growth factor), which stimulates and influences both normal and abnormal growth of nerve cells in the body. Neurologist. In Italy, as a Jew during World War II, Mussolini’s law rejected her school, so she set up a laboratory at her home to study the growth of nerve fibers in chicken embryos. bottom. In 1952, at the Cell Culture Laboratory in Rio de Janeiro, she discovered an effective new way to detect chemicals secreted by tumors that cause the amazing growth of nerve fibers. This was the discovery of her nerve growth factor, which awarded her the Nobel Prize. Died 30 Dec 2011 at age 102 (born 22 Apr 1909).