Thomas Strangeways Pigg Strangeways
|Known for||Founding the Strangeways Research Laboratory; developing tissue culture techniques|
|Fields||Pathology, cell biology|
|Academic advisors||Alfredo Kanthack|
|Notable students||Honor Fell|
Thomas Strangeways Pigg Strangeways (1866-1926) was a British pathologist, known for founding the Cambridge Research Hospital, which was renamed the Strangeways Research Laboratory following Strangeways' death in 1926.
Strangeways was born Thomas Strangeways Pigg in 1866.Strangeways studied under Alfredo Kanthack at St Bartholomew's Hospital and received his medical degree in 1890. He followed Kanthack to the University of Cambridge after Kanthack was offered the chair of the Pathology Department there. Strangeways became a demonstrator and subsequently a lecturer in pathology at the University of Cambridge.
Strangeways developed an interest in the pathology of rheumatoid arthritis and in 1905 founded the Cambridge Research Hospital in order to study patients with this condition and related ones. Funded largely by Strangeways himself, noted doctors of his acquaintance, and donations from patients, the hospital began modestly with only six beds, and with research equipment located in renovated coal sheds. : 246–7 she would take over leadership of the laboratory following Strangeways' death in 1926. In the 1920s and 30s, the laboratory was the only British institution focused specifically on tissue culture technique, : 63 the utility of which was a controversial topic among scientists of the time.It closed briefly in 1908 due to lack of funding, but quickly reopened and moved to its current site in 1912 thanks to the support of Otto Beit and to its temporary repurposing as a hospital for military officers in World War I. The hospital returned to its research purpose in 1917. Later, in 1923, the clinical aspects of the laboratory's work were moved back to St Bartholomew's Hospital so that the laboratory could focus on then-newly developing technologies in tissue culture and cell biology. Having learned about tissue culture techniques from Alexis Carrel, Strangeways took great interest in the new field, including developing demonstrations of the technique for his lectures. After University of Edinburgh zoology student Honor Fell spent a summer working with him, he hired her as a research assistant;
Strangeways became engaged to Dorothy Beck in 1901 and the couple married in 1902. : 247–8 Strangeways died unexpectedly of a brain haemorrhage in 1926.As of the construction of the new hospital building in 1912, they had two children. Strangeways financed his laboratory out of his own earnings for most of his life, although he was not personally wealthy; a later director of the laboratory, John Dingle, wrote in a retrospective that "there is little doubt that his family suffered financially" from his investments, although Dorothy was consistently supportive of the project.
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Strangeways Research Laboratory is a research institution in Cambridge, United Kingdom. It was founded by Thomas Strangeways in 1905 as the Cambridge Research Hospital and acquired its current name in 1928. Organised as an independent charity, it was historically funded primarily by the Medical Research Council and is currently managed by the University of Cambridge, also its sole trustee. Formerly a site of research on rheumatic arthritis and connective tissue disorders, it has since 1997 focused on the study of genetic epidemiology.
Frederick Gordon Spear was a British physician and researcher. Originally trained in tropical medicine, he spent time working in what was then the Belgian Congo. After his return to England in 1923, he became interested in radiology and radiobiology. As a member of the Medical Research Council, he was involved in the decision to continue work at Strangeways Research Laboratory following the 1926 death of founder Thomas Strangeways. He served as Deputy Director under the laboratory's longtime director Honor Fell from 1931 to 1958. While at Strangeways he conducted experiments on the effects of radiation on cells and tissues, particularly tissue cultures derived from cancers. He was known for forceful rhetoric in support of the then-controversial field of tissue culture and its potential in informing clinical practice.
John T. Dingle is a British biologist and rheumatologist. He joined the staff of the Strangeways Research Laboratory in 1959 as a research assistant to then-director Honor Fell, and later himself served as director from 1979 to 1993, taking over the position after the death of Michael Abercrombie. His presence at Strangeways helped to move its research direction toward the original research interests of its founder, Thomas Strangeways, who sought to understand the physiology of arthritis and other rheumatic diseases, after many years in which the laboratory specialized more narrowly in tissue culture and cell biology. Dingle was the president of Hughes Hall from 1993 to 1998, and is an honorary fellow. He was the founding chairman of the British Connective Tissue Society, serving from 1980 to 1987. From 1975 to 1982 he was Chairman of the Editorial Board of the Biochemical Journal. Among his notable trainees is University of California, San Francisco cell biologist Zena Werb, who was a postdoctoral fellow with Dingle and subsequently worked as a research assistant at Strangeways.
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