Rita Levi-Montalcini — Italian Scientist born on April 22, 1909, died on December 30, 2012

Rita Levi-Montalcini OMRI OMCA was an Italian Nobel Laureate honored for her work in neurobiology. She was awarded the 1986 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine jointly with colleague Stanley Cohen for the discovery of nerve growth factor. From 2001 until her death, she also served in the Italian Senate as a Senator for Life... (wikipedia)

At 20, I realized that I could not possibly adjust to a feminine role as conceived by my father and asked him permission to engage in a professional career. In eight months I filled my gaps in Latin, Greek and mathematics, graduated from high school, and entered medical school in Turin.
The four of us enjoyed a most wonderful family atmosphere filled with love and reciprocal devotion. Both parents were highly cultured and instilled in us their high appreciation of intellectual pursuit. It was, however, a typical Victorian style of life, all decisions being taken by the head of the family, the husband and father.
It is imperfection - not perfection - that is the end result of the program written into that formidably complex engine that is the human brain, and of the influences exerted upon us by the environment and whoever takes care of us during the long years of our physical, psychological and intellectual development.
Progress depends on our brain. The most important part of our brain, that which is neocortical, must be used to help others and not just to make discoveries.
Above all, don't fear difficult moments. The best comes from them.