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AFRIMS Celebrates 50 Years of Medical Research In Thailand

June 10, 2011
This week marks the 50th anniversary celebration of the U.S. Army Medical Component - Armed Forces Research Institute of Medical Sciences (AFRIMS).

This week marks the 50th anniversary celebration of the U.S. Army Medical Component - Armed Forces Research Institute of Medical Sciences (AFRIMS), a special foreign activity of the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR) and a key partner for MHRP.

The AFRIMS Retrovirology department played a major role in the successful RV144 Prime-Boost HIV Vaccine Trial in 2009. The study, which showed for the first time that a vaccine is able to reduce the risk of HIV infection in humans, recruited more than 60,000 interested Thai participants, screened nearly 27,000 people and enrolled 16,000 qualified volunteers.

AFRIMS and other trial collaborators continue to work together to extend and build on the results of RV144. This successful vaccine trial is an example of the longstanding, productive collaboration among U.S. and Thai military and civilian scientists to conduct infectious disease research. 

The Thai and U.S. government first worked together to combat a widespread cholera outbreak in Bangkok during the late 1950s. Recognizing the importance of this cooperative effort, the two governments agreed to continue joint medical research efforts, which led to the establishment of the SEATO Cholera Research Laboratory.

After a series of transformations, the research institute was renamed AFRIMS in 1977. Over the last 50 years AFRIMS has been a benchmark of success in tropical infectious disease research.

Today, AFRIMS has programs in Enteric Diseases, malaria vaccine and drug research and viral diseases including dengue fever, hepatitis and HIV.

The 50th anniversary of the research institute was commemorated with a Military Anniversary Ceremony and two-day scientific symposium.