Nobel laureate Levi-Montalcini being inducted into Walk of Fame April 6

Conducted groundbreaking research during three decades at university

Levi-Montalcini works in her lab. (Photo: Becker Medical Library)

Nobel laureate Rita Levi-Montalcini, who conducted groundbreaking research at Washington University in St. Louis from 1947-1977, will be inducted posthumously into the St. Louis Walk of Fame April 6.

Neurobiologist Levi-Montalcini shared the Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine in 1986 with biochemist Stanley Cohen, formerly of Washington University, for breakthroughs in the study of cell growth and development.

A professor emeritus of biology in Arts & Sciences, Levi-Montalcini died at age 103 in her native Italy in 2012.

Walk of Fame founder Joe Edwards and Holden Thorp, provost and the inaugural Rita Levi-Montalcini Distinguished University Professor at Washington University, will speak at the brief induction ceremony, which will be 11:30 a.m. Thursday, April 6, at the site of her star, 6136 Delmar Blvd., near the Regional Arts Commission. 

“Rita Levi-Montalcini was a model of academic life,” Thorp said. “She was an engaged member of the academic community, brilliant scholar and lived a life informed by her voracious curiosity and desire to see knowledge shape the future.”

In her autobiography, “In Praise of Imperfection: My Life and Work,” Levi-Montalcini described her three decades at Washington University as “the happiest and most productive years of my life.”

More than 30 members of the Washington University community have been honored on the Walk of Fame, which celebrates greatness in the arts, science, politics, civil rights, sports, journalism and other fields.

Other Washington University alumni and faculty members who have received stars include writers Stanley Elkin, A.E. Hotchner, William Gass, Howard Nemerov and Gerald Early; scientists Arthur Holly Compton, Barry Commoner, William Masters and Virginia Johnson; and screenwriter and director Harold Ramis. 

Leave a Comment

Comments and respectful dialogue are encouraged, but content will be moderated. Please, no personal attacks, obscenity or profanity, selling of commercial products, or endorsements of political candidates or positions. We reserve the right to remove any inappropriate comments. We also cannot address individual medical concerns or provide medical advice in this forum.