Gerty Theresa Cori, née Radnitz
Born: 15 August 1896, Prague, Austria-Hungary (now Czech Republic)
Died: 26 October 1957, St. Louis, MO, USA
Affiliation at the time of the award: Washington University, St. Louis, MO, USA
Prize motivation: "for their discovery of the course of the catalytic conversion of glycogen"
Field: biochemistry, metabolism, physiology
Prize share: 1/4
Gerty and Carl Cori took an interest in how the body utilizes energy. In 1929, they described what is known as the Cori cycle; an important part of metabolism. Lactic acid forms when we use our muscles, which is then converted into glycogen in the liver. Glycogen, in turn, is converted into glucose, which is absorbed by muscle cells. The pair continued to investigate how glycogen is broken down into glucose and, in 1938-1939, were able to both identify the enzyme that initiates the decomposition and also to use the process to create glycogen in a test tube.
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