Pope Greets Oldest Living Noble Prize Winner

VATICAN CITY, MAY 26, 2009 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI received in audience Monday the oldest living Nobel Prize winner.

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Rita Levi-Montalcini, who turned 100 years old in April, won the Nobel Prize in medicine in 1986. She received it together with colleague Stanley Cohen for their discovery of nerve growth factor.

The Vatican press office reported the audience, but gave no details of the visit.

The scientist is a native of Turin, Italy. During World War II she accepted an invitation to study at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. She remained at the university for 30 years, becoming a full professor in 1958.

In 2001, she was named a senator with life tenure in the Italian Senate.

That same year she founded the Levi-Montalcini Foundation, which aims to give educational opportunities to African women. The project began in Ethiopia, and has since spread to 10 countries.

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