Be inspired?

For those looking for inspiration you could find no better example than Rita Levi-Montalcini, who died on 30th December 2012 aged 103.

Awarded the Nobel prize in 1986 for work on nerve growth factor, Rita had to persuade her father to let her go to University to study medicine. While she was undertaking post-grad research in Italy, Mussolini passed a law barring non-Aryans from academic or professional careers and so she moved to Belgium. She returned to Turin in 1940, prior to Germany's invasion of Belgium, and set up a secret lab in her bedroom.

However, she had to move her lab to a cottage in Piemonte in 1941 due to allied bombing. When the Germans invaded Italy in 1943 she fled to Florence. Following Allied liberation in 1944 Rita served as volunteer physician in refugee camps treating typhoid and infectious diseases. She moved to the US after the war, where she stayed until establishing a research unit in Rome in 1962. From then on, she divided her time between Italy and America. She was still testing new hypotheses on the action of NGF well into her eighties.