Charles Scott Sherrington (1857-1952)

Fullerian Professor of Physiology and Comparative Anatomy, 1915-1918

  • Charles Scott Sherrington

    Charles Scott Sherrington

    Credit: Royal Institution

Biography

Ri positions

  • Fullerian Professor of Physiology and Comparative Anatomy, 1915-1918

He was born in Islington, now part of North London but which was then a rapidly expanding village. He attended Ipswich Grammar School before studying the Natural Sciences Tripos at Caius College, Cambridge. There he worked with Michael Foster, the first professor of physiology at Cambridge, on the nervous systems of animals.

Moving to London in 1883, he completed his medical education at St Thomas's Hospital and then worked on the continent for two years. In 1887 he returned to Cambridge as a Fellow of Caius, but four years later he became Professor Superintendent of the Brown Institution, a veterinary hospital in London.

In 1895 he became Professor of Physiology at the University of Liverpool, where his research concentrated on neuron connections in animals. He showed that electrical stimulation in the brain can be turned into action in muscles. In 1913 he became Professor of Physiology at the University of Oxford, a position he held until retirement in 1935. During the Great War he undertook studies for the War Office on industrial fatigue and served on a few committees. He was President of the British Association in 1922. In 1932 he shared the Nobel Prize for his discovery of the function of neurons.