Prized collection

The Nobel Prize medals awarded to Carl and Gerty Cori in 1947 are on permanent display.

By Huy Mach

The two Nobel Prize medals awarded to Carl and Gerty Cori in 1947 for their work on sugar metabolism are on permanent display at the Center for the History of Medicine in Becker Medical Library. Their son, Thomas Cori, PhD, donated the medals to the School of Medicine. Carl Cori and Gerty Radnitz met in 1914 as first-year medical students at the University of Prague, married in 1920, and immigrated to the U.S. In 1931, Washington University offered Carl and Gerty positions, but the offers weren’t equal. Carl was named head of the Department of Pharmacology, and Gerty became a research associate, reportedly at one-tenth of Carl’s salary. Fifteen years later, Gerty finally was promoted to professor. She became the first American woman to win the Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine. Remarkably, six people who trained in the Cori lab went on to win Nobel Prizes.

Published: January 1, 2017