Camillo Golgi was born at Corteno near Brescia in 1843.
He studied medicine at the University of Pavia. After graduating in 1865, he continued to work in Pavia at the Hospital of St. Matteo. At that time most of his investigations were concerned with the nervous system, In 1872 he accepted the post of Chief Medical Officer at the Hospital for the Chronically Sick at Abbiategrasso. He first started his investigations into the nervous system in a little kitchen of this hospital, which he had converted into a laboratory. However, the work of greatest importance, which Golgi carried out was a revolutionary method of staining individual nerve and cell structures.
This method is referred to as the ‘black reaction’. This method uses a weak solution of silver nitrate and is particularly valuable in tracing the processes and most delicate ramifications of cells. All through his life, he continued to work on these lines, modifying and improving this technique.
Golgi received the highest honours and awards in recognition of his work. He shared the Nobel prize in 1906 with Santiago Ramony Cajal for their work on the structure of the nervous system.