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. The goal of his thesis research is to elucidate the role of microRNAs in kidney disease progression. To this end, Cory applies a combination of in vitro and in vivo approaches as well as multi-omics platforms. For the work in the lab, Cory has won many awards at national conferences and has submitted multiple first-author, peer-reviewed articles.
In addition to his dissertation research, Cory is also passionate about science policy. He is currently a Graduate Trainee in the Program On Regulation, Therapeutics, And Law (PORTAL) at the Brigham and Women's Hospital and works under the mentorship of Spencer Hey, PhD and Aaron Kesselhiem, MD, JD, MPH. At PORTAL, Cory works in an interdisciplinary group that examines ethical and scientific issues surrounding precision oncology as well as aspects of FDA policy, the drug approval pipeline, biomarker uptake and utilization, and clinical trial design.
Cory is also the co-president of the Harvard Science Policy Group. His accomplishments include leading the 2017 visit to Washington, D.C., that taught students about how science policy is conducted in the nation's capital (his op-ed about the trip was published in STAT News). He also organized regular events including a discussion series on the 21st Century Cures Act, meetings with policy experts from the Obama administration, faculty chats focused on health policy, and local trips within Boston. As Co-President, Cory has spearheaded new initiatives that provide students with research and writing skills, information about fellowships and careers, and networking opportunities.
Cory has contributed to Harvard's student-run Science in the News blog where he wrote an analysis of the new Toxic Substances Control Act passed by Congress in 2016, and he was 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, environmental and social justice, science policy and biomedical research.