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Stanley Cohen

Stanley CohenBorn: 17-Nov-1922
Birthplace: Brooklyn, NY

Gender: Male
Religion: Jewish
Race or Ethnicity: White
Occupation: Scientist

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Nerve and skin cell growth factors

Stanley Cohen had polio as a child, and his family was so poor, he said he could never have afforded a college education if not for Brooklyn College, where admission required a good transcript but (then) no tuition. After earning his BA at Brooklyn, he worked as a bacteriologist at a dairy, saving as much of his paychecks as possible toward continuing his education. He conducted his most famous research at Washington University, where he worked with Nobel laureate Arthur Kornberg before collaborating with Rita Levi-Montalcini on extensive study of the substances produced by the body that are involved in the development of nerve and skin tissues. For "their discovery of nerve growth factor (NGF) and epidermal growth factor (EGF)", Cohen and Levi-Montalcini shared the Nobel Prize for Medicine or Physiology in 1986. "You just keep on trying to find things," he said upon winning the honor. "I'm very happy that the work we've been doing the last 25 to 30 years turned out to be important."

He is often confused with Stanley N. Cohen, the Stanford microbiologist and DNA tinkerer known for developing new methods of combining and transplanting genes, who worked in collaboration with Herbert W. Boyer, received the first patent for gene-splicing, and is himself considered a candidate for eventual Nobel honors. The two Stanley Cohens are not related.

Father: Louis Cohen (tailor)
Mother: Fannie Feitel Cohen

    High School: James Madison High School, Brooklyn, NY
    University: BS Biology, Brooklyn College (1942)
    University: BS Chemistry, Brooklyn College (1942)
    University: MS Zoology, Oberlin College (1945)
    University: PhD Biochemistry, University of Michigan (1948)
    Scholar: Pediatrics and Biochemistry, University of Colorado (1948-52)
    Scholar: Radiology, Washington University in St. Louis (1952-53)
    Teacher: Zoology, Washington University in St. Louis (1953-59)
    Teacher: Biochemistry, Vanderbilt University (1959-76)
    Professor: Biochemistry, Vanderbilt University (1976-)

    Lasker Award 1986
    National Medal of Science 1986
    Nobel Prize for Medicine 1986 (with Rita Levi-Montalcini)
    American Academy of Arts and Sciences
    American Cancer Society Post-doctorate fellowship (1952-53)
    National Academy of Sciences
    Risk Factors: Polio


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