The ground for foundation of the physiological center in Koltushi was laid by I. P. Pavlov in the early 1930s when construction began of the research campus that now bears his name. When I. P. Pavlov was still alive, Koltushi was visited by many prominent world leaders in science and culture. Among them were A. V. Hill, L. E. Lapicque, J. Barcroft, W. B. Cannon, H. Hunt, Herbert G. Wells, Niels H. D. Bohr.
During the subsequent years, Koltushi was rightfully recognized « the capital of conditional reflexes » . And at present, I. P. Pavlov's scientific concepts and the investigations carried out at the Institute that he founded draw a great attention of both Russian and foreign scientists. In 1993, for the purpose of enlarging cooperation with foreign colleagues and of developing further the scientific heritage of this great Russian scientist, the Presidium of the Russian Academy of Sciences decreed to found, on the basis of the Institute, the I. P. Pavlov International Research Center. Its first Director was Academician V. A. Govyrin, while since 1994, Medical Sciences Doctor, Prof. M. O. Samoilov.
The foundation of the Center responds to the modern tendency of international integration of scientific investigations. Among the members of the Scientific Board of the Center, apart from the Russian researchers, there also are foreign scientists well-known in various fields of physiology.
The main goal of the Center is development of complex fundamental and applied physiological investigations in the fields of physiology of the higher nervous activity, neurogenetics, physiology of sensory and visceral systems, with participation of Russian and foreign researchers, as well as organization of international scientific events. Units of the Institute perform cooperative investigations with Universities of Bulgaria, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, India, Israel, Japan, the Netherlands, Poland, Sweden, USA, and other countries.
With participation of the Center, numerous symposia, conferences, meetings, seminars were held on the current problems of the higher nervous activity and adaptive behavior, sensory and visceral physiology, specifically the conference on the occasion of the 90-anniversary of awarding the Nobel Prize to I. P. Pavlov and the 150-anniversary of this great scientist.
In 2004 the Center took an active part in preparing and holding the jubilee celebrating the 100-anniversary of awarding the Nobel Prize to I. P. Pavlov; this celebration occurred in St. Petersburg – the city, with which his entire creative life was connected. On November 2004 the monument to I. P. Pavlov was inaugurated on the Tiflisskaya Street, near the building of Institute of Physiology of the Russian Academy of Sciences, the Institute bearing his name.
An integral component of the Center is the Pavlovian memorial complex that includes the building of Pavlov's laboratory, the study-room museum, the historical building « I. P. Pavlov's House » , avenue with scientists' busts, cottages in Koltushi, as well as I. P. Pavlov's Museum-Apartment at the Vasilievsky Island in St. Petersburg. Exposed in these museums are unique displays connected with I. P. Pavlov's life and creativity. The museums are annually visited by hundreds of foreign guests and compatriots of this great scientist who belongs to the entire world.