Year 1986

Cohen Stanley
Medicine, 1986
United States
Cohen Stanley

Stanley Cohen was born in New York in 1922. At the age of 26, he received his doctorate in chemistry from the University of Michigan. He worked at the University of Colorado and in 1953 moved to Washington University in St. Louis where he undertook cancer research with Rita-Levi Montalcini. Cohen has been a professor of chemistry at Vanderbilt University since 1959.

How does man grow from a single fertilized cell into a complex arrangement of billions of cells each with its own unique function and working together in perfect synchronization? Part of the answer lies in the family of proteins known as growth factors which were first discovered by Stanley Cohen and Levi-Montalcini in the l950’s.

In awarding the 1986 Nobel Prize for medicine and physiology to Stanley Cohen and Rita Levi-Montalcini, the prize committee noted that their work was of fundamental importance in making it possible to understand the mechanisms which regulate cell and organ growth.

Stanley Cohen successfully isolated the nerve growth factor NGF from the salivary glands of rats and even devoloped antibodies against it. In 1962 he succeeded in isolating an additional, epidermal growth factor – EGF.

The very existence of growth factors was questionable prior to the research of Stanley Cohen and Rita Levi-Montalcini. Today scientists are convinced that they exist and recognize their great importance.

made a significant contribution to the study of cancer.
Levi-Montalcini Rita
Medicine, 1986
Italy
Levi-Montalcini Rita

Rita Levi-Monalcini was born in Italy in 1909. After completing her education and qualifying as a medical doctor, she worked at the University of Turin. In 1939, Mussolini’s fascist regime banned Jews from doing research, but Rita Levi-Montalcini continued her work in an improvised laboratory in her bedroom. In 1947, she moved to the United States and began work at Washinton University in St. Louis where she undertook cancer research together with Stanley Cohen. In 1977, she returned to Rome to work in the National Council of Scientific Research.

How does man grow from a single fertilized cell into a complex arrangement of billions of cells each with its own unique function and working together in perfect synchronization? Part of the answer lies in the family of proteins known as growth factors which were first discovered by Stanley Cohen and Levi-Montalcini in the l950’s.

In awarding the 1986 Nobel Prize for medicine and physiology to Rita Levi-Montalcini and Stanley Cohen, the prize committee noted that their work was of fundamental importance in making it possible to understand the mechanisms which regulate cell and organ growth.

Rita Levi-Montalcini discovered that cancerous tissue around a nerve cell secretes a certain chemical substance that accelerates the growth of nerve cells. She called this the nerve growth factor – NGF. Stanley Cohen was able to isolate this factor and even develop antibodies against it.

The very existence of growth factors was questionable prior to the research of Stanley Cohen and Rita levi-Montalcini. Today, scientists are convinced that they exist and recognize their great importance.

made a significant contribution to cancer research.
Wiesel Elie
Peace, 1986
United States
Wiesel Elie

Elie Wiesel was born in the town of Sighet, Romania, in 1928. When he was 15 years old, the Wiesel family was sent to a German concentration camp. Both parents, as well as a younger sister, perished in the camps, but Wiesel and two other sisters managed to survive.

At the close of World War II, Elie Wiesel went to France as a refugee and began studying at the Sorbonne University in Paris. In 1948, at the age of 19, he arrived in Israel as a military correspondent for a French newspaper, in order to cover the War of Independence.

He went on to become a foreign correspondent for the Israeli daily “Yedioth Ahronoth” and thereafter moved to New York, where he joined the staff of the Yiddish paper “Forverts”. Wiesel served as professor of Jewish Studies at New York university and from 1976, professor of humanities at Boston University.

After a self-imposed, ten year period of silence, Wiesel described his experience as a youth in a concentration camp in his book “Night”, published in 1956. The book first appeared in Yiddish, but was later translated into many other languages. Since then, he has written another 30 books and gained a worldwide reputation.

Elie Wiesel was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986. According to the Prize committee, “Wiesel has given us not only an eyewitness account of what happened, but also an analysis of the evil powers which lay behind the events. His main concern is the question of what measures we can take to prevent a recurrence of these events.”

Elie Wiesel is a fighter for human rights. His name has been connected with humanitarian causes all over the world, such as: the struggle of Soviet Jewry, the Indians in Nicaragua, the civil war in the former Yugoslavia, the Kurds, victims of Apartheid in South Africa and famine victims in Africa. Many of the numerous articles he has published are concerned with issues of oppression, and as a lecturer, he is in demand worldwide. Furthermore, Wiesel has served as advisor to presidents of the United States and France and to groups that deal with universal, ethical issues.

In his writing and his work, Elie Wiesel has not attempted to garner pity for the victims or the survivors of the holocaust. Rather, he has tried to combat the apathy to evil that makes us accessories to crimes against humanity. He wants to awaken the conscience of each of us. As he once said, “You can get out of Auschwitz, but Auschwitz can never get out of you.”

The man who would not allow the world to forget the holocaust.
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