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Blue plaque installed to celebrate Cambridge physiology professor





The Physiological Society has unveiled a blue plaque to celebrate Prof Sir Michael Foster (1836-1907), who raised the status of physiology and revolutionised physiological research and teaching.

Blue plaque unveiled in Cambridge to celebrate Professor Sir Michael Foster. Picture: Adrian Newman, University of Cambridge
Blue plaque unveiled in Cambridge to celebrate Professor Sir Michael Foster. Picture: Adrian Newman, University of Cambridge

The plaque was unveiled by Prof Ole Paulsen, chair of physiology in the Department of Physiology, Development and Neuroscience at the University of Cambridge, last Wednesday (July 6) at the Physiology Building.

Foster was one of 19 physiologists who gathered at the house of John Burdon in March 1876 to form the Physiological Society for “promoting the advancement of physiology and facilitating the intercourse between physiologists”.

Blue plaque unveiled in Cambridge to celebrate Professor Sir Michael Foster. Picture: Adrian Newman, University of Cambridge
Blue plaque unveiled in Cambridge to celebrate Professor Sir Michael Foster. Picture: Adrian Newman, University of Cambridge

[Read more: Cambridgeshire Regiment prisoners of war remembered at plaque unveiling]

Prof Matthew Mason, professor of comparative physiology at Cambridge, said: “Michael Foster was instrumental in establishing experimental physiology as a discipline in Britain.

“He had a profound role in inspiring and encouraging the careers of many great scientists, whose research would come to eclipse his own. The first professor of physiology in Cambridge, Foster also founded the Journal of Physiology.”

Blue plaque unveiled in Cambridge to celebrate Professor Sir Michael Foster. Picture: Adrian Newman, University of Cambridge
Blue plaque unveiled in Cambridge to celebrate Professor Sir Michael Foster. Picture: Adrian Newman, University of Cambridge
Blue plaque unveiled in Cambridge to celebrate Professor Sir Michael Foster. Picture: Adrian Newman, University of Cambridge
Blue plaque unveiled in Cambridge to celebrate Professor Sir Michael Foster. Picture: Adrian Newman, University of Cambridge

During his time at Cambridge, Foster began a new era where physiology was learnt through experimentation.



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