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PLEASE NOTE: The Armed Forces Institute of Pathology was closed in September of 2011. This page describes the history of AFIP; it is NOT a link to the institute. To contact the Joint Pathology Center, which now handles many of AFIP’s functions, go to, or call 301-295-4819.

A color image of the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology buildings - two multi-story masonry buildings in a courtyard with a tall single level building surrounding the complex.

Armed Forces Institute of Pathology buildings
Courtesy National Museum of Health and Medicine
Closed September 15, 2011


Armed Forces Institute of Pathology
6900 Georgia Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20306

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.

Prior to moving to the Walter Reed Army Medical Center, the AFIP was located at the Army Medical Museum and Library on the Mall (1887-1969), and earlier as Army Medical Museum in Ford's Theatre (1867-1886).

See: #25 on Area Map.

No nearby Metro station.

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