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Ivan Pavlov

Ivan PavlovAKA Ivan Petrovich Pavlov

Born: 14-Sep-1849
Birthplace: Ryazan, Russia
Died: 27-Feb-1936
Location of death: St. Petersburg, Russia
Cause of death: unspecified
Remains: Buried, Volkovskoye Memorial Cemetery, St. Petersburg, Russia

Gender: Male
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Scientist, Doctor

Nationality: Russia
Executive summary: Conditioned reflexes

Russian physician and physiologist Ivan Pavlov was the son of a priest and studied for the clergy himself, before deciding in his early 20s, after reading a book by Charles Darwin, to turn to science. His most famous work was an accident of science -- he was studying the chemistry of saliva in dogs, but noted that when a bell was sounded at every feeding time the dogs would eventually begin to salivate at the sound of the bell even in the absence of food. Called the conditioned reflex (sometimes "conditioning" or the Pavlovian response), this finding showed that physiological responses are not limited to innate natural reflexes, such as being startled by loud noises or drawing back from a flame. These studies were conducted over several decades, and after the 1927 translation of his work into English Pavlov became one of the world's most famous scientists.

Pavlov won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1904, not for the conditioned reflex, but for his earlier work studying the stomach secretions of dogs, by surgically redirecting internal secretory ducts to the exterior, which allowed their secretions to be collected and scrutinized. His academic and popular standing was so great that there were few repercussions when, late in life, he became an outspoken critic of the Soviet government.

Father: Peter Dmitrievich Pavlov (priest)
Wife: Seraphima Vasilievna Karchevskaya ("Sara", teacher, m. 1881)
Son: Wirchik (d. infancy)
Daughter: Vera
Son: Victor
Son: Vladimir
Son: Vsevolod

    High School: Ryazan Theological Seminary, Ryazan, Russia (1870)
    University: BS Natural Sciences, University of St. Petersburg (1875)
    Medical School: MD, Imperial Medical Academy, St. Petersburg (1879; thesis 1883)
    Scholar: Medicine, Military Medical Academy (1881-83)
    Scholar: Cardiovascular physiology, University of Leipzig (1884-86)
    Scholar: Gastrointestinal physiology, University of Wroclaw (1884-86)
    Teacher: Physiology, University of St. Petersburg (1888-90)
    Professor: Professor of Physiology, Imperial Medical Academy, St. Petersburg (1890-1924)
    Professor: Pharmacology, Military Medical Academy (1890-95)
    Professor: Physiology, Military Medical Academy (1895-1925)
    Administrator: Director of Department of Physiology, Institute of Experimental Medicine (1924-36)

    Nobel Prize for Medicine 1904
    Copley Medal 1915

Author of books:
Lectures on the Work of the Digestive Glands (1897)
Conditioned Reflexes: An Investigation of the Physiological Activity of the Cerebral Cortex (1927)

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