Gerty Theresa Cori (1896 – 1957) was an American biochemist who became the third woman—and first American woman—to win a Nobel Prize in science, and the first woman to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.
Cori was born in Prague. She was admitted to medical school there, where she met her future husband Carl Ferdinand Cori. After graduation, they married and emigrated to America in 1922. Gerty continued her early interest in medical research, collaborating in the laboratory with Carl. She published research findings coauthored with her husband, as well as publishing singly. Unlike her husband, she had difficulty securing research positions, and the ones she obtained provided meager pay. Her husband insisted on continuing their collaboration, though he was discouraged from doing so by institutions that employed him.
Gerty and her husband jointly received the Nobel Prize in 1947 for the discovery of the mechanism by which glycogen—a derivative of glucose—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).
In 1957, Gerty Cori died after a ten-year struggle with myelosclerosis. She remained active in the research laboratory until the end. She received recognition for her achievements through multiple awards and honors. The Cori crater on the Moon and the Cori crater on Venus are named after her.