Cohen, Stanley

Cohen, Stanley, 1922–2020, American biochemist, b. New York City, Ph.D. Univ. of Michigan, 1948. Cohen did his most important work at Washington Univ. with Rita Levi-Montalcini in the 1950s. Studying mouse tumors implanted in chicken embryos, she discovered nerve growth factor, which he subsequently isolated. He also discovered and isolated epidermal growth factor and its receptor. These were the first of many cell growth factors found in animals. The discovery of nerve growth factor radically changed the study of cell growth and development, and the discovery of epidermal growth factor and its receptor eventually led to new approaches to the treatment of cancer. For this discovery Levi-Montalcini and Cohen were awarded the 1986 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. In 1959 Cohen moved to Vanderbilt Univ., where he became a professor, retiring in 1999.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Biochemistry: Biographies