Carl Cori

Picture of Carl Cori

Date of Birth: 05/12/1896

Age: 87

Place of birth: Prague

Citizenship: United States


After the war, Karl returned to the university to complete their studies. There he met a student of the Faculty of Medicine Gerty Theresa Radnitz and in 1920 married her. In the same year, Karl received a medical degree, then worked for two years as an assistant in the First Medical Clinic of Vienna, and then as an assistant in pharmacology at the University of Graz. At this time, Gerty T. Cori worked as an assistant at the Karolinska Children`s Hospital in Vienna.

Works K. attracted the attention of the New York State Institute of malignancies (hereinafter named Roswell Park Institute) in Buffalo. In 1922, Karl received an offer to work at the Institute biochemist. Temporarily leaving his wife in Europe, K. moved to the United States. Based in Buffalo, he found to his wife as an assistant pathologist at the institute; Gerty T. Cori subsequently moved to the position of assistant biochemist.

Since spouses Cory particularly interested in carbohydrate metabolism in normal tissues and tissues of malignant tumors, they are for the first years in Buffalo focused on the study of carbohydrate metabolism in tumor cells. In addition, they investigated the effect of ovariectomy (surgical removal of ovaries) on the growth of such cells.

In 1928, the wife of Corey took US citizenship, and the following year Karl became an assistant professor of physiology at the University of Buffalo. Two years later, the couple moved to work in the medical school at Washington University in St. Louis (Missouri), where K. was promoted to professor of pharmacology, and his wife - a school board member and researcher in pharmacology and biochemistry. Here they continued their research on the metabolism of carbohydrates, focusing on the biochemistry of glucose and glycogen. The existence of glycogen has been known since 1857, when the French physiologist Claude Bernard found in liver cells of experimental animals krahmalopodobnogo a large number of substances. Glycogen is composed of glucose molecules linked together in a chain, and is a major biochemical form in which glucose is stored in the liver and muscles. Glucose - the main source of energy of living cells, it represents a monosaccharide containing hydrogen, oxygen and carbon.

The food starch is composed of two polysaccharides - amylose and amylopectin into glucose by the action of pancreatic amylase enzyme. Further glucose is absorbed in the small intestine, it falls into the portal vessels and transferred to the liver where it is converted into glycogen and set aside for later use. Normally, in the liver as glycogen reserves are about three days of glucose. In the 30 ... the 40-ies. Corey spouses conducted a series of experiments have been clarified biochemical reactions involved in the metabolism of glucose and glycogen. Currently, the full cycle of splitting and re-synthesis of glycogen is called the Cori cycle.

In 1936, Corey found glucose-1-phosphate, which was subsequently named Corey ether. At the same time they opened biohimicheskiemehanizmy action of insulin - a hormone synthesized and emitted islet cells of the pancreas. Deficiency in insulin causes diabetes - a disease in which cells can not properly absorb and use glucose as an energy source.

In 1938 Corey g. first described the conversion of glucose-1-phosphate to glucose 6-phosphate (as well as the inverse process) under the action of the enzyme phosphoglucomutase. In 1943, they have isolated and identified phosphorylase in crystalline form and found that this enzyme can exist in both the active and inactive form, disclosed biochemical conditions under which the activation of the enzyme.

The following year, Corey glycogen synthesized in vitro. As starting products used are the glycogen molecule with short chain glucose, phosphate and three enzymes - hexokinase, phosphorylase and phosphoglucomutase. Thus, they confirmed their hypothesis three-step biosynthetic pathway of glycogen from glucose. In the same year Karl was promoted to professor of biochemistry at the University of Washington School of Medicine. Two years later he became head of the Department of Biochemistry.

In 1947, Carl and Gerty Cori was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine "for his discovery of the catalytic conversion of glycogen". They shared the award with the Argentine physiologist Bernardo Usaem. In his congratulatory speech researcher at the Karolinska Institute Teorell Hugo he said that the work of Corey, "revealed an extremely complex enzymatic mechanisms involved in the reversible reaction between glucose and glycogen." This discovery he called "one of the most brilliant achievements of modern biochemistry" and the foundation of the "new concept of the action of hormones and enzymes."

Spouses Cory united not only scientific work. Together they engaged in mountaineering, tennis, skating and working in the garden. In the family they have one son. In 1957, Gerty Cori died, and K. married a resident of St. Louis Fitzgerald Ann Jones, which from a previous marriage had two daughters and two sons.

In 1966, Karl left the University of Washington and was appointed consulting professor at the medical school of biochemistry at Harvard University. Here it is up to the end of his life continued research. In 1984, K. died at his home in Cambridge at the age of 87 years (Massachusetts).

K. was awarded the Lasker Award of the American Public Health Association (1946), Prize Squibb Endocrine Society (jointly with Gerty Cori) (1947) and Willard Gibbs Medal of the American Chemical Society (1948). He was a member of the US National Academy of Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Philosophical Society, the American Society of Biochemistry and the American Chemical Society. K. was awarded honorary degrees from the universities of Western Reserve (now the University of Case-Western Reserve).

Brandeis and Yale, Boston, Cambridge, St. Louis, Washington University and Gustavus Adolphus College.