The Lewis Society of Medicine is based at Corpus Christi College, within the University of Cambridge. The Society’s members consist of past and current members of the College associated with medical, veterinary or biomedical science. Our mission is to support and develop medical teaching and research at Corpus Christi, involving students, old members, supervisors, fellows and staff associated with medical life at the College. In addition, we hold a number of public events throughout the year aimed at promoting awareness and discussion on current topics related to the science and practice of medicine.
In 2007 following an initiative from clinical and preclinical medics, Corpus created The Lewis Society of Medicine. The Society’s vision is to promote medicine through a number of diverse academic and social activities. The society is named after Dr Peter Lewis, a pioneering neurobiologist and Director of Medical Studies at Corpus Christi from 1960-1984. Peter’s research over the latter half of the 20th century has ranged from neuronal electrophysiology and histochemistry to biological rhythms and neural transplantation. Most notably he, together with Charles Shute, discovered and documented in detail the ascending cholinergic reticular pathway, now shown to have an important role in memory and cognition particularly in the context of Alzheimer’s disease. As a supervisor, Peter was an inspirational teacher in physiology and neurobiology, as well as providing pastoral support together with his wife Joyce. The annual invitation of all Corpus medical students in small groups from different years for Sunday lunch was a tradition that was to carry on for over four decades. Thus, in acknowledgment of his notable scientific oeuvre, and the support and contribution of the Lewis family to Medicine at Corpus, it was unanimously decided to name the new medical society in his honour. His spirit lives on in the Society today, which has established itself as an integral part of the academic and social lives of the College’s current medical students, whilst also maintaining and reinforcing ties with Old Members, and promoting a general interest in medical science within the College community.