Today, Rita Levi-Montalcini passed away aged 103.
This woman was a complete badass. Her life and accomplishments in brief: she studied medicine against the wishes of her father and against 1930s society expectations of women. When banned from an academic career by a fascist government because of her Jewish ancestry, she built a research unit in her bedroom. She served as a physician during the war and returned to her research afterwards. In 1969 she became Director of the Institute of Cell Biology of the Italian National Council of Research. In 1986, she won a Nobel Prize for her work with Stanley Cohen for isolating Nerve Growth Factor from tumor cells.
Did she slow down after winning a Nobel Prize? Nope. She founded the European Brain Research Institute (EBRI) in Rome. She (with her sister Paola) also founded the Rita Levi-Montalcini Foundation, which focuses on the education of girls and young women in Africa. In 2001 she was appointed an Italian Senator-for-life.