Giuseppe Levi (October 14, 1872 – February 3, 1965) was an Italian anatomist and histologist, professor of human anatomy (since 1916) at the universities of Sassari, Palermo and Turin. He was born on October 14, 1872 in Trieste to Jewish parents, Michele Levi and Emma Perugia.[1] He was married to Lidia Tanzi and had five children: Gino, Mario, Alberto, Paola (who became the wife of Adriano Olivetti), and writer Natalia Ginzburg (wife of Leone Ginzburg and mother of Carlo Ginzburg),[2][3] who described her father's personality in the successful Italian book Lessico famigliare (1963).

Giuseppe Levi
Born(1872-10-14)October 14, 1872
DiedFebruary 3, 1965(1965-02-03) (aged 92)
OccupationProfessor of human anatomy
OrganizationUniversity of Turin
Known forPioneer of in vitro studies on cultured cells

Levi was a pioneer of in vitro studies of cultured cells. He contributed to the study of the nervous system, especially on the plasticity of sensory ganglion cells.[4]

While in Turin, he tutored three students who later won the Nobel prize: Salvador Luria, Renato Dulbecco and Rita Levi-Montalcini.[4]

He was admitted as a national member of the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei in 1926.[3] In 1931 he subscribed to the oath of allegiance to the Fascist regime imposed to University professors.


  1. ^ Pannese, Ennio (2005). "LEVI, Giuseppe". Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani. Istituto dell'Enciclopedia Italiana. Retrieved 2012-12-30.
  2. ^ Patrizia Acobas. "Natalia Ginzburg 1916 – 1991". Jewish Women's Archive. Retrieved 2012-08-13.
  3. ^ a b "Giuseppe Levi" (in Italian). Enciclopedia Treccani online. Retrieved 2012-08-13.
  4. ^ a b M. Bentivoglio; A. Vercelli; G. Filogamo (December 2006). "Giuseppe Levi: mentor of three Nobel laureates". Journal of the History of the Neurosciences. 15 (4): 358–68. doi:10.1080/09647040600888974. PMID 16997763.


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