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Gerty Theresa Cori

Gerty Cori’s work on carbohydrate metabolism, which changed our understanding of diabetes and other diseases, earned her the Nobel Prize for Medicine, making her the first American woman and third woman ever given the honor. The daughter of a chemist who managed sugar refineries, Cori met her future husband and collaborator Carl Cori in medical school at the University of Prague, where they published their first joint paper together. They moved to America and began work as the State Institute for the Study of Malignant Disease in Buffalo, NY. The Coris collaborated heavily on their work, and while Gerty Cori’s position at various institutions was often for a nominal salary, Carl refused to take any position that would prevent their working together. They mapped the process by which glucose and glycogen transform in the liver and bloodstream, discovering a new intermediate step. Gerty Cori was finally awarded full professorship shortly before husband and wife shared the Nobel Prize for their discovery. The Coris continued their groundbreaking work on carbohydrate metabolism throughout their lives and mentored other scientists in their lab, six of whom were eventually honored with the Nobel Prize as well.

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Biochemist Gerty Theresa Radnitz Cori (1896-1957) and her husband Carl Ferdinand Cori (1896-1984) were jointly awarded the Nobel Prize in medicine in 1947 for their work on how the human body metabolizes sugar.

Image courtesy of the Smithsonian Institution.

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Date of Death
Doctor, Biologist, Chemist

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Gerty Theresa Cori." (Viewed on December 5, 2019) <>.


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