Suzanne Cory on CSHL Symposia
  Suzanne Cory     Biography    
Recorded: 15 Jan 2003

Well, of course they’ve been incredibly influential. If I think back to my student days again here in Melbourne, Australia one of the favorite things that we did as students whenever the red book arrived in the library with the new symposium volume, we would open up to the first page and look at the pictures of the scientists. You know, it was so amazing to actually find out what these people looked like these revered gods of science that we were hearing about to see how human they were. It made science very real to us and it was very exciting.

So even at huge distance those symposia exerted a strong pulling power, a strong inspirational power over students of science. And of course to participate in those meetings themselves is always a really important event in one’s life. It has the power to change the way that you’re thinking about your whole field of science. You meet the top minds; they discuss very openly and very constructively new ideas based on the new evidence that they’re hearing at the meeting, so I can’t over emphasize the importance of those symposia in, I guess, catalyzing new thoughts in science, in biological science.

Suzanne Cory, is currently Director of The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research (WEHI), joint head (with Professor Jerry Adams) of the Molecular Genetics of Cancer division at WEHI, and a professor of Medical Biology at the University of Melbourne.

Dr. Cory, a biochemist and molecular oncologist, has focused her research interests in immunology and cancer development. Her current research on the Bcl-2 gene family, and how cells decide to live or die (apoptosis), will lead to the knowledge to develop specific therapeutics for cancer and other diseases.

Dr. Cory earned her PhD in 1968 from the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, working on RNA sequencing with Nobelists Fred Sanger and Francis Crick. While at Cambridge, she met and later married scientist Jerry Adams. Following their post-doctoral work and beginning research partnership at the University of Geneva, Cory and Adams moved to Australia and The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research in 1971. Their work at WEHI helped introduce gene cloning technology in Australia. In the 1980s they discovered the genetic mutation that leads to Burkett’s Lymphoma.

Suzanne Cory was invited to speak at the 1970 Symposium, and has attended many meetings and Symposia at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory since then. Dr. Cory has received numerous awards and honors, including the Companion of the Order of Australia, Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science, and Fellow of the Royal Society. She is Deputy Chairman of Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, and a director of biotechnology company Bio21 Australia Limited.