In the 1980s, biochemist Stanley Cohen and Dr Rita Levi-Montalcini discovered Epidermal Growth Factor through research and experiments that were actually being conducted with Nerve Growth Factor (NGF). This research determined that EGF stimulated the increase of cells on the epidermis. Because of this discovery, Cohen and Dr Levi-Montalcini were awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1986.
Although their research did not have a huge impact at the time it was published, their contribution to the scientific community was significant! This research helped develop a deeper understanding of the roles growth factors and proteins play in cell differentiation. So much so that EGF was then used to help treat burn victims, and is also being researched in the bioengineering of artificial organs.