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Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Nobel Laureates: Carl Ferdinand Cori and Gerty Theresa Cori

The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1947.

"for their discovery of the course of the catalytic conversion of glycogen"

Carl Ferdinand Cori (1896-1984) and Gerty Theresa Cori (1896-1957) won the Nobel Prize in 1947 for their work on understanding the synthesis and degradation of glycogen. Their major contribution was understanding the importance of phosphorylated intermediates, especially the "Cori ester" glucose-1-phosphate [Monday's Molecule #25].
Professor Carl Cori and Doctor Gerty Cori. During the past decade the scientific world has followed your work on glycogen and glucose metabolism with an interest that has gradually increased to admiration. Since the discovery of glycogen by Claude Bernard ninety years ago, we have been almost totally ignorant of how this important constituent of the body is formed and broken down. Your magnificent work has now elucidated in great detail the extremely complicated enzymatic mechanism involved in the reversible reactions between glucose and glycogen. Your synthesis of glycogen in the test tube is beyond doubt one of the most brilliant achievements in modern biochemistry. Your discovery of the hormonal regulation of the hexokinase reaction would seem to lead to a new conception of how hormones and enzymes cooperate.

In the name of the Caroline Institute I extend to you hearty congratulations on your outstanding contribution to biochemistry and physiology.
Cori and Cori are one of the few husband and wife teams to receive the Nobel Prize. They worked at Washington University in St. Louis, MO (USA).

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