Strangeways studied under Alfredo Kanthack at Street 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 suffering from this and related conditions.
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.
lieutenant 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 Street 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.
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, the utility of which was a controversial topic among scientists of the time.