Armed Forces Institute of Pathology

The Armed Forces Institute of Pathology (AFIP) closed its' doors on September 15, 2011. It was founded as the Army Medical Museum on May 21, 1862, to collect pathological specimens along with their case histories. The information from the case files of the pathological specimens from the Civil War was compared with Army pensions records and compiled into the six-volume Medical and Surgical History of the War of the Rebellion, an early study of wartime medicine. In 1900, museum curator Walter Reed led the commission which proved that a mosquito was the vector for Yellow Fever, beginning the mosquito eradication campaigns throughout most of the twentieth century. Another museum curator, Frederick Russell, conducted clinical trials on the typhoid vaccine in 1907, resulting in the U.S. Army to be the first Army vaccinated against typhoid. Increased emphasis on pathology during the twentieth century turned the museum, renamed the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology in 1949, into an international resource for pathology and the study of disease. AFIP's pathological collections have been used, for example, in the characterization of the 1918-influenza virus in 1997.

The Joint Pathology Center now handles many of AFIP’s functions.
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