The American Chemical Society designated the research of Carl and Gerty Cori on the metabolism of carbohydrates at The Washington University School of Medicine a National Historic Chemical Landmark on September 21, 2004. The plaque commemorating the event reads:
Beginning in the 1920s, Carl and Gerty Cori conducted a series of pioneering studies that led to our current understanding of the metabolism of sugars. They elucidated the "Cori cycle," the process by which the body reversibly converts glucose and glycogen, the polymeric storage form of this sugar. They isolated and purified many of the enzymes involved in glucose metabolism. The work of the Coris advanced understanding of glycogen breakdown in cells and of metabolic regulation. Building on their work, others developed improved techniques to control diabetes. The Coris were awarded a Nobel Prize in 1947.
Photo Credits: Bernard Becker Medical Library, Washington University School of Medicine.
Written by Judah Ginsberg
In addition to consulting the standard reference works on the Coris and their writings, the author interviewed scientists who worked in the Coris' laboratory at Washington University at one time or another. He wishes to thank the following people who shared their memories of Carl and Gerty Cori: Dr. Barbara H. Brown, Professor Emerita, Washington University School of Medicine; Dr. David H. Brown, Professor Emeritus, Washington University School of Medicine; Dr. Mildred Cohn, Benjamin Rush Professor Emerita, Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine; Dr. David Kipnis, Distinguished University Professor of Medicine, Professor of Molecular Biology and Pharmacology, Washington University School of Medicine. Also thanks to Tom Cori, who shared memories of his parents with me. Both Drs. Brown and Drs. Cohn and Kipnis read drafts of this brochure, and it is better for their insights on the Coris and their research. Dr. Ernest J. M. Helmreich, Professor Emeritus, University of Wurzberg kindly answered a long string of questions from me by email. In addition, Dr.Carl Frieden, Wittcoff Professor and Head, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics, Washington University School of Medicine read a draft and made several key suggestions regarding carbohydrate metabolism Thanks also go to Paul Jones and Frankie Wood-Black of the National Historic Chemical Landmarks Committee for their editorial comments. Needless to say, any remaining errors are mine alone.
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