Ivan Petrovich Pavlov, the great Russian physiologist was born in the Russian city of Ryazan on 27th (14th) of September 1849 in the family of a priest. From 1860 to 1869 he studied in Theological Seminary, but did not graduate it. Leaving his clerical studies, he applied for an admission to the Mathematics & Physics Department of the St. Petersburg University and from that very moment connected his life and activities with the city of Peter on the banks of the Neva river.

The St. Petersburg University

      In 1875 Ivan Pavlov graduated the University with the degree of a candidate of science and a golden medal for being "successful" in his scientific work named "About Nerves, commanding the functioning of the pancreas".

      From 1875 to 1879 Ivan Pavlov continued his studies in the Medical Surgical Academy (which from 1881 will be renamed as Military Medical Academy) as he wrote: "...not with the aim of becoming a doctor, but so as to have the right of acquiring the chair of the professor at the Department of Physiology" (from the "Autobiography" of I. P. Pavlov).

The Military Medical Academy

      In 1883 he wrote his Thesis for a Doctor's degree "Centrifugal Nerves of the heart" and in 1884 he was elected by the Conference of the Military Medical Academy as assistant professor (senior lecturer) at the Department of Physiology.

I.P.Pavlov. 1884.

      From 1884 to1886 he worked in the physiological laboratories of R. Heidenhajn in Breslavl (previously visited by him in 1877) & K. Ludwig in Leipzig.

      For more than 10 following years (1878 - 1889) he informally directed the scientific work in the experimental laboratory of the S.P.Botkin Clinic of Military Medical Academy, aimed at the research of the physiology cardiovascular system.

The experimental laboratory

      In 1890 he was elected as Professor of the Department of Pharmacology and in 1895 - of the Department of Physiology of the Medical Military Academy.


      On the invitation of Prince A.P.Oldenburgsky, in 1891 he became the Head of the Physiology Department of the Institute of Experimental Medicine, recently founded in St. Petersburg. Till his last days (1936) he remained the Head of this Department. Here, in the Institute of Experimental Medicine, he started the comprehensive studies on the physiology of digestion, the results of which were summarized in the "Lectures on the functioning of the main digestive glands" (1897).


      For his extensive works on the physiology of digestion I.P.Pavlov was awarded the Nobel Prize - the first Russian to receive this Honourable Prize and the first among the physiologists of the world.

      In 1907 he was elected as the Member of the Academy of Sciences of Russia and became the Head of the Physiological Laboratory of the Academy. After the reorganization on his initiative of the Laboratory in 1925 into a Physiological Institute, he became its director.

The Pavlov Institute of Phisiology

      Till the end of his life he was dedicated to the new sphere of Science, created by him - the physiology of the Higher Nervous system, studying the basis of psychology & behavior of animals through the method of conditional reflexes. A considerable part of these studies were carried out in the Institute of Experimental Medicine & in the Biological station, created by him in 1926 in the rural town of Koltushy - the place later called as "the capital of conditional reflexes". At present, part of the Institute of Physiology named after I.P.Pavlov of the Russian Academy of Sciences is situated there.

      I.P.Pavlov is the creator of one of the biggest scientific schools in Physiology, having no such analogues in the world history. One can find amongst his former students such prominent scientists, many of whom created scientific schools of their own: L.A.Orbeli, K.M.Bykov, P.K.Anokhin, B.P.Babkin, A.G.Ivanov-Smolensky and many others.

      The works of I.P.Pavlov are well recognized all over the world. During his lifetime he was elected as full member as well as an honorable member of more than 120 Academies, Scientific Societies and Universities of the world.