Cory Gerlach is a PhD Candidate in Biological Sciences in Public Health and the Therapeutics Graduate Program at Harvard University. He is conducting his dissertation research work with Joseph Bonventre, MD, PhD and Vishal Vaidya, PhD at Harvard Medical School.
Cory is particularly focused on developing innovative methods to better understand intractable problems in biomedical research such as predicting drug toxicity, diagnosing disease and developing novel therapeutic targets. His dissertation research focuses on elucidating the mechanisms of acute kidney injury and identifying pathways that regulate the progression to chronic kidney disease. Specifically, Cory is investigating the role of microRNAs in kidney disease progression using a combination of in vitro and in vivo approaches as well as multi-omics platforms. For this work, Cory has won multiple awards at the 2016 and 2017 Society of Toxicology annual meetings as well as the 2015 American Society of Nephrology annual conference.
In addition to his dissertation research, Cory is passionate about science policy. To develop skills in this field, Cory is a Graduate Trainee in the Program On Regulation, Therapeutics, And Law at Brigham and Women's Hospital under the mentorship of Spencer Hey, PhD and Aaron Kesselhiem, MD, JD, MPH. In this position, Cory works with an interdisciplinary group who examines issues such as FDA policy, drug approval, biomarker utility and clinical trial design.
Cory is also the co-president of the Harvard GSAS Science Policy Group. His accomplishments include leading the 2017 visit to Washington, D.C., to learn about how science policy is conducted in the nation's capital (his op-ed about the trip was published in STAT News). Cory has organized regular events including a lecture series on the 21st Century Cures Act, faculty chats on health policy and local trips to organizations in Boston. Cory has also contributed to Harvard's student-run "Science in the News" science blog where he analyzed the passage of the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act. Other leadership experience Cory has includes being the lead teaching fellow for the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health course "Principles of Toxicology: Molecular and Translational Toxicology" for two semesters.
Cory received his Honors BS in Toxicology from Oregon State University in 2014 (Summa Cum Laude) under the mentorship of Robert Tanguay. During his undergraduate training, he worked to elucidate the mechanism of toxicity for a ubiquitous flame retardant component using zebrafish as a model. This is where Cory became passionate about environmental health and justice, science policy and mechanistic biology research.