The conception of the graphic novel on the biographical story of Gerty Cori was inspired by the enhancement of the scientific aspects of her genius without neglecting the scientist’s profound understanding and commonality of purpose with her husband Carl Ferdinand Cori, demonstrating the ‘creative’ affectivity that a couple can achieve by basing their union on mutual respect and not on the prevarication of one over the other.
Their bond was sealed by marriage within months of their graduation in 1920, and in the same year they completed their first publication on blood immune cells. Growing anti-Semitism in Europe forced them to move to America where they were granted citizenship in 1928 but would not see an end to discrimination and pressure related to their religious beliefs but especially Carl’s stubbornness to work together. In fact, Gerty was also discriminated against as a woman in the USA and, aware of the discrimination against women scientists, she repeatedly worked to help them enter the profession.
In this miniseries dedicated to contemporary women scientists, which began with the figure of Eva Calvino, we move with Gerty into an area of medicine, and biochemistry in particular, which is particularly topical and crucial for sportsmen and women and not only: in fact, the Cori discovered the existence of metabolic cooperation, a division of labour, between the skeletal muscle working in conditions of limited oxygen availability and the liver. A striking example of the complexity and perfection of the physiology of the human body. The Nobel Prize came in 1947 and is linked to this very important discovery concerning the metabolic process responsible for the conversion of lactic acid into glucose, known today as the Cori cycle.