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Honouring the heritage of Charles Sherrington

The Physiological Society has mounted a Blue Plaque on the Sherrington Building in honour of Nobel Laureate and Oxford Hero Sir Charles Sherrington FRS (1857-1952).

He received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with Edgar Adrian in 1932 for their work on the functions of neurons. Prior to the work of Sherrington and Adrian, it was widely accepted that reflexes occurred as isolated activity within a reflex arc. Sherrington received the prize for showing that reflexes require integrated activation and demonstrated reciprocal innervation of muscles.

An official unveiling ceremony will take place later in the summer.

Professor David Paterson, Head of the Dept. of Physiology Anatomy and Genetics said: 

"As President of The Physiological Society we are delighted to recognize the outstanding contribution Sir Charles Sherrington made to neuroscience.  He is widely regarded as the father of neurophysiology, and together with Edgar Adrian in Cambridge, made Nobel Prize winning discoveries that still underpin neuroscience today.  But Sherrington was more than an outstanding experimental neurophysiologist, he was also a powerful advocate for women in science.  It was his patronage in 1912 with J.S. Haldane from the University Laboratory of Physiology, which resulted in Florence Buchanan from Oxford becoming the first woman member of The Physiological Society in 1915."

A plaque honouring Florence Buchanan will soon sit alongside Sherrington's plaque.

Read Sir Charles' biography on the Nobel Prize website

Sherrington’s slide box is available to view online

Read Insights into the life and work of Sir Charles Sherrington, Zoltán Molnár & Richard E. Brown, Nature Reviews Neuroscience 11, 429-436 (June 2010)