|Born||11 March 1942|
|Awards||Australia Prize (1998)|
L'Oréal-UNESCO Award for Women in Science (2001)
Royal Medal (2002)
Pearl Meister Greengard Prize (2009)
|Fields||Genetics and the immune system|
|Institutions||Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research|
Suzanne Cory AC FAA FRS (born 11 March 1942) is an Australian molecular biologist. She has worked on the genetics of the immune system and cancer and has lobbied her country to invest in science. She is married to fellow scientist Jerry Adams, also a WEHI scientist, whom she met while studying for her PhD at the University of Cambridge, England.
Suzanne Cory was raised in the Kew suburbs of Melbourne, Australia. She attended Canterbury Girls' Secondary College, followed by University High School, Melbourne. Her further education includes undergraduate studies at the University of Melbourne and earning a PhD from the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology (LMB) in Cambridge, England. Cory attended the LMB at the same time as the Nobel Prize winners Francis Crick, known for his co-discovery of the structure of DNA, and Frederick Sanger, who revolutionised nucleic acid sequencing. While obtaining her PhD, Cory used Sanger's RNA sequencing techniques to identify the sequence of transfer RNA. Also, during her time at the LMB, Cory met her current husband, Jerry Adams, a scientist from the United States. The two scientists later married and had two daughters.
Research and accomplishments
Following her time at the LMB, Cory traveled to the University of Geneva for her post-doctoral studies. While in Geneva, she focused on sequencing the RNA of R17 bacteriophage for the purpose of using it as a model.
In 1971, Cory and her husband began their research at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, located in Melbourne, Australia. The two scientists helped introduce new scientific technology and methods they had been exposed to in Geneva and Cambridge, which helped expand and better the molecular biology research in Australia. They initially chose to study the genetic component of immunity, discovering that antibody genes are a combination of pieces and can be arranged in a variety of ways. This discovery helped explain the diversity of the immune system and its ability to fight a large array of harmful cell invaders.
After a decade of studying the immune system, Cory's lab switched their focus to cancer and the genetic components of various cancers. Her lab discovered the genetic mutations that lead to Burkitt's lymphoma and Follicular lymphoma. One of the main focuses of their cancer cell research is on cell proliferation and cell death. In particular, the oncoprotein Myc and the Bcl-2 protein family are of interest to her current research lab.
Bcl-2 is an important family of intracellular proteins that helps regulate apoptosis, or cell suicide. Bcl-2, paired with other regulators, prevents caspases from being activated. The caspases, a type of protease, remain inactive until signaled through a cascade to degrade the proteins that make up a cell. Cory's lab has developed Bcl2-blocking agents called BH3 mimetics, which, when paired with low-dose chemotherapy, have had positive results treating specific types of aggressive lymphomas.
Cory is the immediate past President of the Australian Academy of Science. She was the first-elected female President of the Academy and took office on 7 May 2010 for a four-year term, replacing the former president, Professor Kurt Lambeck. Since its formation in 1954, there has only been one other female president of the Australian Academy of Science, Professor Dorothy Hill, who filled in for Professor David Forbes Martyn after his death in 1970.
Cory was the Director of the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research (WEHI), from 1996 until 30 June 2009 and remains a faculty member, having rejoined the institute's Molecular Genetics of Cancer Division. Her current research focuses on genetic changes in blood cancers and the effects of chemotherapeutic drugs on the cancer cells. Cory's work has been published in research journals including Blood (journal), The EMBO Journal, Nature (journal), Cell Death & Differentiation, and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.
The Suzanne Cory High School opened in Cory's honour in 2011. The public high school caters to 800 students from grades 9-12. Qualified students gain entry to the school through a three-hour aptitude test, which is also used for placement into three other highly selective Australian high schools. The school is in close proximity to Victoria University, which allows students access to the school's facilities and staff.
Awards and honors
- 1986 — elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science
- 1992 — elected a Fellow of the Royal Society
- 1997 — awarded Macfarlane Burnet Medal and Lecture of the Australian Academy of Science 
- 1997 — elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Victoria (FRSV)
- 1998 — received Charles S. Mott Prize of the General Motors Cancer Research Foundation (joint recipient)
- 2001 — recipient of a L'Oréal-UNESCO Award for Women in Science
- 2002 — awarded the Royal Medal of the Royal Society
- 2004 — elected an Academician of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences
- 2009 — named a Chevalier of the Legion of Honor and was presented with her award in Canberra, Australia, by the Ambassador of France in Australia, Michel Filhol
- 2011 — Suzanne Cory High School commenced in Werribee, Victoria
- 2011 — awarded the Association for International Cancer Research Colin Thomson Medal
- 2013 — elected as a Fellow of the inaugural Class of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Academy
- 2014 — delivered the annual ABC Boyer Lectures
- "Professor Suzanne Cory-AC, PhD, PresAA, FRS | About Us". www.suzannecoryhs.vic.edu.au. Retrieved 24 November 2016.
- Adams, J. M.; Gerondakis, S.; Webb, E.; Corcoran, L. M.; Cory, S. (1 April 1983). "Cellular myc oncogene is altered by chromosome translocation to an immunoglobulin locus in murine plasmacytomas and is rearranged similarly in human Burkitt lymphomas". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 80 (7): 1982–1986. doi:10.1073/pnas.80.7.1982. ISSN 0027-8424. PMC 393736. PMID 6572957.
- Research, The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical (17 October 2014). "Professor Suzanne Cory". Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research. Retrieved 24 November 2016.
- Cory, Suzanne; Huang, David C. S.; Adams, Jerry M. (1 January 2003). "The Bcl-2 family: roles in cell survival and oncogenesis". Oncogene. 22 (53): 8590–8607. doi:10.1038/sj.onc.1207102. ISSN 0950-9232.
- "First elected female President of the Academy of Science". Magazine. July 2010 – via EBSCOHost.
- "Macfarlane Burnet Medal and Lecture". Australian Academy of Science. Retrieved 22 February 2017.
- "Elected Fellows of the Royal Society of Victoria - The Royal Society of Victoria". The Royal Society of Victoria. Retrieved 27 June 2018.
- Colin Thomson Medal 2011 Announcement Archived 9 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine
- ABC Radio National Boyer Lectures, 2014 Boyer Lectures
- Overview of directorship and research at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute.
- Smith, Deborah: Woman of science, The Age, 7 August 2010.
- Suzanne Cory in The Encyclopedia of Women and Leadership in the Twentieth Century
- Suzanne Cory on Women in Science: International Differences, CSHL Digital Archives