A Global Leader in Infectious Disease Research
For more than 127 years, WRAIR has been a leader in global efforts against the world’s most pervasive and high impact infectious diseases, such as malaria, HIV/AIDS, Ebola, and dengue.
At the turn of the nineteenth century, WRAIR’s namesake, Major Walter Reed, led the team that confirmed the theory of the Cuban doctor Carlos Finlay that yellow fever is transmitted by a particular mosquito species, rather than by direct contact. This insight allowing for more effective quarantine measures and enabled the resumption and completion of work on the Panama Canal.
Today, WRAIR infectious disease physicians and scientists work alongside civilian researchers and medical professionals to test and develop products that will ultimately reduce the impact of some of the world’s most lethal diseases.
Some of the WRAIR’s enduring contributions to global health include:
- Developing some of the most widely used anti-malarial drugs, including chloroquine, primaquine, mefloquine, doxycycline and atovaquone/proguanil
- Leading the trial of the first HIV/AIDS vaccine to demonstrate some protection against infection
- Advancing major steps forward in the scientific advancement of a first-ever malaria vaccine and took part in Phase III testing overseas (with GlaxoSmithKline)
- Helping develop vaccines to prevent meningitis, Japanese encephalitis, hepatitis A, adenovirus and influenza
Research Efforts in the U.S. and Overseas
The WRAIR Center for Military Infectious Disease Research combines scientific expertise with product development to prevent a range of diseases of strategic importance to the U.S. military. In the U.S., WRAIR’s infectious disease laboratories develop and test preventive and therapeutic drugs and vaccines, diagnostics and vector countermeasures.WRAIR also maintains a strong network of overseas medical research labs that operate in conjunction with the U.S. Department of State and host nation partners to conduct clinical trials in endemic areas, resulting in medical advances beneficial to both military and global health. In addition to conducting medical research on locally endemic diseases, the labs also participate in
international disease outbreak detection and response efforts.
Located in Silver Spring, Maryland, WRAIR boasts cutting-edge research equipment and laboratories, including biosafety level 3 laboratories, accredited animal research facilities and sleep research suites, along with:
- Pilot Bioproduction Facility
- Clinical Trials Center
- Multidrug-Resistant Organism Repository and Surveillance Network
- Deployment Related Brain Health
Visit the WRAIR Army website for more information.