Gerty Theresa Cori

Gerty Theresa Cori

Gerty Theresa Cori was a Czech-American biochemist, the first woman to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. She was the third woman to win a Nobel Prize. Her uncle encouraged her interest in science, and she was admitted to the medical school of the Karl-Ferdinands-Universität in Prague in 1914, an unusual achievement for women at that time. There she met Carl Cori, who shared her interest in research, and they married in 1920. While studying carbohydrate metabolism, they discovered the mechanism by which glycogen is broken down in muscle tissue into lactic acid and then resynthesized in the body and stored as a source of energy (known as the Cori cycle). They also identified the important catalyzing compound, the Cori ester. For this discovery, Gerty and Carl received the 1947 Nobel Prize, which they shared with Argentine physiologist Bernardo Houssay.

Read more at nobelprize.org.

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