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 with Joseph Bonventre, MD, PhD and Vishal Vaidya, PhD at Harvard Medical School where he is working to understand the mechanisms of kidney disease development and progression. Cory has won awards for his scientific research at the Society of Toxicology and American Society of Nephology annual conferences, and has written multiple peer-reviewed publications. Cory currently serves as the student liaison for the newly launched Harvard-MIT Center for Regulatory Science where he has helped develop and implement goals for the center, manage outreach, and organize major events for students and trainees.
Cory recently served as an Analyst Intern at the U.S. Government Accountability Office in Washington, D.C. With the mission of improving how government serves the people, Cory worked with a multi-disciplinary team of analysts to investigate programs and make recommendations to the U.S. Congress. In this role, he helped to design project approaches, conduct research, and analyze data while gaining expertise and presenting on diverse subjects. While in graduate school, Cory was also a Graduate Trainee in the Program On Regulation, Therapeutics, And Law at the Brigham and Women's Hospital under the mentorship of Spencer Hey, PhD and Aaron Kesselhiem, MD, JD, MPH. In this role, Cory worked with a team of policy experts to examine the ethical and scientific issues surrounding precision medicine, as well as other aspects of drug and health policy.
While at Harvard, Cory served as Co-President of the Harvard GSAS Science Policy Group for one year and in the group's leadership for a total of two years. His accomplishments in these roles include leading the 2017 group visit to Washington, D.C., that showed 15 students first-hand how science informs policy in the nation's capital (his op-ed about the trip was published in STAT News). He also organized regular events such as discussion series on science policy, meetings with members of the Obama administration, networking events with science policy experts, and local trips within Boston. With his team, Cory helped to expand opportunities for students to publish articles on science policy, educate other scientists about policy issues and alternative career paths, and make the group one of the most prolific clubs on campus.
Cory has taken every opportunity to improve his writing and presentation skills during his graduate career. As examples, Cory led a project with scientists in industry to analyze how biomarkers are used in the drug development and published this work as an expert commentary, and he wrote an extensive review of microRNA biology. He also wrote a blog article for general audiences on the implications of the new Toxic Substances Control Act passed by Congress in 2016 in Harvard's student-run Science in the News blog. Lastly, Cory was the Head Teaching Fellow for "Principles of Toxicology: Molecular and Translational Toxicology" for two semesters at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
Before graduate school, Cory received his Honors BS in Toxicology from Oregon State University in 2014 (Summa Cum Laude) under the mentorship of Robert Tanguay, PhD. During his training, Cory worked to elucidate the mechanism of toxicity for a ubiquitous flame retardant component using zebrafish as a model, while developing his interest in science policy, environmental health policy and social policy more generally.