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Carl Ferdinand Cori

Carl Ferdinand Cori (December 5, 1896 – October 20, 1984) was an American biochemist and pharmacologist born in Prague (then in Austria-Hungary, now Czech Republic) who, together with his wife Gerty Cori and Argentine physiologist Bernardo Houssay, received a Nobel Prize in 1947 for their discovery of how glycogen (animal starch) - a derivative of glucose - is broken down and resynthesized in the body, for use as a store and source of energy. In 2004 both were designated an ACS National Historical Chemical Landmark in recognition of their work that elucidated carbohydrate metabolism.[1]

Carl was the son of Carl Cori, a physician, and Martha Lippich, he grew up in Trieste where his father was the director of the Marine Biological Station. In late 1914 the Cori family moved to Prague and Carl entered the medical school (at the German part) of the Charles University. While studying there he met Gerty Theresa Radnitz. He was drafted into the Austro-Hungarian Army and served in the ski corps, and later was transferred to the sanitary corps, for which he set up a laboratory in Trieste. At the end of the war Carl completed his studies, graduating with Gerty in 1920. Carl and Gerty married that year and worked together in clinics in Vienna.

Carl was invited to Graz to work with Otto Loewi to study the effect of the vagus nerve on the heart, Loewi would receive the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1936 for this work. While Carl was in Graz, Gerty remained in Vienna. A year later Carl was offered a position at the State Institute for the Study of Malignant Diseases (now the Roswell Park Cancer Institute) in Buffalo, New York and the Cori's moved to Buffalo.

While at the Institute the Cori's research focussed on carbohydrate metabolism, leading to the definition of the Cori cycle in 1929, for which they received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1947. In 1928, they became naturalized citizens of the United States. In 1931 Carl accepted a position at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri. Carl joined as professor of pharmacology and in 1942 was made professor of biochemistry.

In 1946, he won the Albert Lasker Award for Basic Medical Research.

Gerty died in 1957, Carl married Anne Fitz-Gerald Jones in 1960. Carl stayed on at Washington University until 1966, when he retired as chair of the biochemistry department. Following retirement Cori moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts, Harvard University laboratory space at the Massachusetts General Hospital, where he pursued research in genetics.

Carl shares a star with Gerty on the St. Louis Walk of Fame.


  • Ihde, A.J. Cori, Carl Ferdinand, and Gerty Theresa Radnitz Cori. American National Biography Online Feb 2000.
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Carl_Ferdinand_Cori". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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