Monday, Oct. 23, marked the 70th anniversary of the day in 1947 that Washington University School of Medicine scientists Gerty and Carl Cori answered the door at their Glendale, Mo., home to news that they had won the Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine.
To honor Glendale’s arguably most famous residents and the scientific discoveries they made, the city of St. Louis and the city of Glendale proclaimed Oct. 23 as Gerty and Carl Cori Day.
Spurring the recognition was Peter L. Jones, a computer programmer in the Department of Psychiatry. As a child, he walked past the Cori home at 1080 N. Berry Road in Glendale on his way to school and grew fascinated with their legacy.
The Coris’ Nobel Prizes recognized their work on sugar metabolism. They discovered how the body converts glycogen – the form in which sugar is stored in the body – to glucose, a form that can be burned to provide energy. Their work contributed to the understanding of diabetes.
The Nobel medals they were awarded were donated to Washington University by their son, Thomas Cori, PhD, and are now on permanent display at the School of Medicine’s Bernard Becker Medical Library.
Gerty Cori died in 1957, and Carl Cori in 1984.