Gerty Cori was born in Prague (then in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, now the Czech Republic). Gerty was not a nickname, but rather she was named after an Austrian warship. Growing up at a time when women were marginalized in science and allowed few educational opportunities, she gained admittance to medical school, where she met her future husband Carl Ferdinand Cori. The Cori cycle (also known as the Lactic acid cycle), named after its discoverers, Carl Ferdinand Cori and Gerty Cori, refers to the metabolic pathway in which lactate produced by anaerobic glycolysis in the muscles moves to the liver and is converted to glucose, which then returns to the muscles and is metabolized back to lactate.
In 1947 Gerty Cori became the third woman—and the first American woman—to win a Nobel Prize in science, the previous recipients being Marie Curie and Irène Joliot-Curie. She was the first woman to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.
The twenty-five square foot Cori laboratory at Washington University was deemed a National Historic Landmark by the American Chemical Society. Not only did the Cori's conduct groundbreaking research there, but they mentored many scientists. Six of these went on to win Nobel Prizes, which is unmatched in scientific history.
Cori's impact on Earth was so profound that a crater on the Moon and a crater on Venus were named after her. She was also honored with her own US minted stamp in 2008.
Cheers to Gerty Cori! A magnificent scientist and TEACHER. Her discoveries and fortitude paved the way for woman's equality in Science and in life.