Society for Neuroscience Marks 1906 Nobel Prize Awarded to Neuroscientists Camillo Golgi and Santiago Ramón Y Cajal
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NEWS RELEASE NR-38-06 (12/01/06). For more information, please contact Joe Carey at (202) 962-4000 or email@example.com.
SOCIETY FOR NEUROSCIENCE MARKS 1906 NOBEL PRIZE AWARDED TO NEUROSCIENTISTS CAMILLO GOLGI AND SANTIAGO RAMóN Y CAJAL
WASHINGTON, DC December 1 - The centennial of the 1906 Nobel Prize in Medicine or Physiology awarded to neuroscientists Camillo Golgi and Santiago Ramón y Cajal was celebrated on December 7 at the Society for Neuroscience (SfN) headquarters building at 1121 14th St., NW, in Washington.
The program included talks by world-renowned experts on the two scientists. Javier DeFelipe of the Cajal Institute in Madrid spoke about Cajal. Marina Bentivoglio of the University of Verona spoke on Golgi. Discussants present at the event were Edward Jones of the University of California at Davis; Albert Aguayo of McGill University in Montreal; and Federico Villagra of the University of Maryland at Baltimore.
A three-story mural hanging in the central stairwell of SfN's new office space honors the legacies of Golgi and Cajal.
Golgi invented a revolutionary method of silver staining referred to as the "black reaction," which uses a weak solution of silver nitrate to create a dark deposit in the cell body, axon, and dendrites, and provides clear pictures of individual nerve and cell structures. This method allowed Cajal to observe neurons and render them in drawings that provided the foundation of modern neuroanatomy. Cajal, using Golgi's method, showed that the nervous system is composed of individual nerve cells rather than - as was widely believed at the time - a web of continuous elements. Cajal demonstrated that these neurons communicated with each other via contacts later called "synapses."
Cajal was born in 1852 in Petilla de Aragón, a village in northeast Spain. He graduated from the medical school of Zaragoza in 1873 before being drafted as a Spanish army medical officer and sent to Cuba. In 1881, he became a professor in Valencia, and later in Barcelona and Madrid. He served as director of the Zaragoza Museum and the National Institute of Hygiene, and founded the Laboratorio de Investigaciones Biológicas, which was later renamed the Cajal Institute.
Cajal's work included detailed descriptions of nerve cell organization in the central nervous system, illustrated by his renowned drawings. He is often considered to be the "father of neuroscience." He died in Madrid in 1934.
Golgi was born in 1843 in Corteno, a village in Northern Italy. He graduated in 1865 with a degree in medicine from the University of Pavia in 1865 where he became a professor of histology 10 years later. In 1881, he was appointed to the chair for general pathology. Golgi served as dean of the faculty of medicine and, for a time, rector of the university. His many publications are collected in the Opera Omnia, the first three volumes of which were published in 1903 and the fourth in 1929.
Golgi's discovery of the black reaction allowed researchers, for the first time, to view the complete structure of nerve cells in the brain. His later investigations contributed to the understanding of cell biology and malaria. He died in Pavia in 1926.
The Society for Neuroscience is an organization of more than 36,500 basic scientists and clinicians who study the brain and nervous system. For more information on the Golgi-Cajal event, please contact Joe Carey at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-962-4000.