AFRIMS Celebrates 62 Years of Pioneering Medical Research and Transformative Contributions to Thailand

AFRIMS Celebrates 62 Years of Pioneering Medical Research and Transformative Contributions to Thailand

The Armed Forces Research Institute of Medical Sciences (AFRIMS) proudly commemorates its 62nd anniversary, highlighting its remarkable achievements in medical research and profound impact on public health in Thailand. Celebratory ceremonies held at the Phya Thai Palace and AFRIMS Headquarters brought together distinguished guests, including the Director of The U.S. Army Medical Directorate (USAMD)-AFRIMS and the Director General of Royal Thai Army AFRIMS.

Since 1961, the AFRIMS Thai-U.S. partnership has spearheaded groundbreaking research initiatives and fostered international medical collaboration that has directly benefited the people of Thailand and saved hundreds of millions of global lives. Over the course of the past six decades, AFRIMS has achieved remarkable breakthroughs in infectious disease research, contributing to the prevention and control of diseases that pose significant threats to public health. AFRIMS has played a pivotal role in developing innovative diagnostics, treatments, and prevention strategies for diseases such as dengue fever, malaria, Japanese encephalitis, HIV/AIDS, COVID-19, and other emerging threats. 

AFRIMS has consistently been committed to addressing global health challenges without a profit motive. AFRIMS significantly contributed to the development and integration of the Japanese encephalitis vaccine into the Thai national immunization program, demonstrating its safety and effectiveness through a large-scale efficacy trial involving 65,000 participants. This achievement has significantly reduced Japanese encephalitis cases, preventing countless infections in Thailand and global communities.

In the fight against malaria, AFRIMS has made remarkable strides in the discovery and development of antimalarial drugs and diagnostic devices, resulting in the protection and treatment of hundreds of millions of people worldwide. Their advancements, including the FDA approval of the Binax-Now point-of-care rapid diagnostic device for malaria, have revolutionized diagnosis and significantly reduced malaria-related mortality and morbidity.

AFRIMS has conducted groundbreaking research on HIV-AIDS including its RV 144 vaccine trial; the first and only HIV vaccine candidate to successfully reduce the risk of HIV infection in humans. RV 144 was recognized as one of Time Magazine’s “Top 20 Inventions” in 2009 and this breakthrough brings the world one step closer to developing a HIV vaccine that will benefits millions. 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, AFRIMS quickly acquired and validated WHO testing strategies. This helped Thailand play a crucial role in early detection and containment efforts, and helped make Thailand a leader in the fight against COVID-19.

On the occasion of the 62nd anniversary of this unique U.S.-Thai partnership in global health, we celebrate AFRIMS’ dedication combating infectious diseases and generating the next generation of Thai scientists.