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November 07, 1986 - Image 10

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1986-11-07

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Jewry's Fate Shape d
Career, Scientist Says



Designs That Are Wearable Art

"First, get your window right,

then everything else in the room
falls into place."

Rome (JTA) — Dr. Rita
Levi-Montalcini, who recent-
ly shared the Nobel Prize in
Medicine and Physiology with
American biochemist Stanley
Cohen, comes from a family
of Italian Jewish intellectuals
in Turin. Now, at 77, this
small, elegant, bright-eyed
woman recalls first hearing
the expression "freethinker"
from her father, Prof. Gius-
sepe Levi, at the age of three.
That and deeply ingrained
feminism — her idol, she says,
was Simone de Beauvoir —
defined her life and work. But
her distinguished career was
also shaped by the people and
events that marked the fate
of the Jewish people in this
Her family left Italy to
escape the stultifying and
repressive atmosphere of
Mussolini's fascism. They
lived in Belgium for a time,
but when the Nazis invaded
in 1940, they fled back to Ita-
ly. Because she was Jewish
she was denied employment
and research facilities. though
she already held a Doctorate.
Because of the family's op-
position to fascism, they were
forced to live clandestinely in
Florence under the assumed
name of Lovisato, from
"southern Italy,- a disguise
belied by their northern
Italian accent.
In a makeshift laboratory.
set up in her bedroom, Levi-
Montalcini conducted ex-
periments secretly during the
war years' She begged for
eggs for needy children"

from farmers and extracted
the embryos for her work.
The results of her experi-
ments went unpublished in
fascist, Italy because "she
belonged to the Jewish race.-
Recognition came in post-
war Italy and in the U.S..
where she went in 1947 to ac-
cept a teaching and research
post with Prof. Viktor Ham-
burger at Washington Uni-
versity in St. Louis, Mo.
Levi-Montalcini was the
first woman admitted to the
Pontifical Academy of Science
and, in 1968, the sixth woman
to gait admittance to the
American Academy of Science.
Long bel ore getting the Nobel
Prize, sh won two major in-
ternatio prizes, the
Medicinei Lrinelli in 1969 and
the St. Vi scent in 1_970.
Her Nobel Prize stemmed
from work completed in the
U.S. in 1951: discovery of
N G F. a protein growth factor
that stimulates nerve cell
development. It was the
result, she says. of an intui-
tion best described in a Latin
proverb which states that
there is physiological connec-
tion between a sound mind
and a sound body.
The discovery. and parallel
work by Cohen, hold out
promise that cures can be
found for Parkinson's and
Alzheimer's diseases, which
attack the human nervous
system. It has also led to fur-
ther research on the relation
between nerve cells and the
immunological defense

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The Great Cover-Up


10 Friday, November 7, 1986


No Hidden Shipping Charges

Jerusalem (JTA) — The
Hadassah Medical Organiza-
tion (HMO) here recently es-
tablished a liaison office with
the Civil Administration of
Judaea and Samaria to fur-
ther strengthen cooperation
with Arab doctors and medi-
cal facilities on the West
The office was established
after talks between HMO Di-
rector-General Dr. Samuel
Penchas and Dr. Ephraim
Sneh, head of the Civilian Ad-
ministration and also a physi-
cian, on the increasingly close
ties between medical and ad-
ministrative personnel of the
Hadassah-Hebrew University
Medical Center at Ein Karem
and the Hadassah University
Hospital on Mount Scopus
and their counterparts in
hospitals and clinics serving
the Arab population of the
West Bank.
Sneh said that while medi-
cal services in Judaea and
Samaria are adequate, pa-
tients requiring more com-
plex diagnosis and treatment
are referred to Hadassah
facilities in increasing

numbers. The new liaison of-
fice was created to speed
registration and transfer of
such patients and to provide
another avenue of contact
and cooperation among doc-
tors and administrators in
Jerusalem and on the West
Penchas noted that Hadas-
sah doctors frequently visit
clinics in Hebron, Ramallah,
Beit Jallah and other West
Bank settlements and that
Hadassah specialists in
surgery, pediatrics and hema-
tology regularly serve as ad-
visors on complicated cases
at clinics in Judaea and
Samaria. Arab physicians
also visit Hadassah hospitals
to observe treatment tech-
niques and to keep current on
latest advances in research
and patient care.
A group of 30 admini-
strators from hospitals in
Judaea and Samaria recently
visited the Hadassah-Hebrew
University Medical Center to
discuss opportunities for
closer cooperation between
their institutions and the

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