We’re expanding our Encyclopedia of Jewish Women and we need your help! Know an extraordinary Jewish woman whose story should be told? Nominate her to be included!
Close [x]

Show [+]


You are here

Share Share Share Share Share Share Share

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.

More on Gerty Theresa Cori
Dr. Gerty Theresa Radnitz Cori and Carl Ferdinand Cori in the Lab
Full image

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.

Date of Birth
August 15, 1896
Place of Birth
Date of Death
October 26, 1957

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Gerty Theresa Cori." (Viewed on March 24, 2019) <https://jwa.org/people/cori-gerty>.


Help us elevate the voices of Jewish women.

donate now

The JWA Podcast

listen now

Sign Up for JWA eNews


Discover Education Programs

Join our growing community of educators.

view programs