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News | Jan. 20, 2023

NAMRU-6 Celebrates 40 Years of Medical Research

By Sidney Hinds, Naval Medical Research Center

NAMRU-6 hosted several visitors and guests from the U.S. and Peru at the event, to include U.S Ambassador to Peru Lisa Kenna, Rear Adm. Jorge Enrique Andaluz Echevarría, Surgeon General of the Peruvian Navy, Rear Adm. Guido F. Valdes, commander, Naval Medical Forces Pacific and Capt. William Denniston, commander, Naval Medical Research Center. Visitors provided remarks celebrating the history of the command and its ongoing mission.

“The U.S. Navy, and Navy Medicine in particular, take great pride in our ties and partnership with Peru,” said Valdes. “Over the last forty years, what began as a humble laboratory detachment has grown to meet the changing readiness and health needs of U.S. service members, our Peruvian national partners, and global stakeholders.”

Capt. Franca Jones, commanding officer of NAMRU-6, took part in a brief panel following remarks, along with past NAMRU-6 commanding officers and researchers from the command and local collaborating institutions. Participants reflected on past NAMRU-6 accomplishments and discussed current command activities.

Established in 1983 as the Naval Medical Research Institute Detachment, NAMRU-6 was re-named in 2011, and has provided research expertise to aid over a hundred outbreak investigations in Central and South America since 2008. NAMRU-6 staff, a force of almost 300, and comprised of 90% Peruvian nationals, provided detection and identification of the first case of the Zika Virus in Iquitos, Peru. They also aided U.S. allies in the Peruvian Navy with testing for COVID-19 throughout the pandemic. NAMRU-6 collaborates with a network of agencies, universities and hospitals around the globe on these and other medical research missions.

“It has been a privilege to be part of this command’s storied history,” said Jones. “I look forward to the future and the opportunity to continue making a difference in the world through our work.”

NAMRU-6, part of the Naval Medical Research & Development enterprise, supports Global Health Engagement through surveillance of a wide range of infectious diseases of military or public health significance, including dengue fever, malaria, diarrheal diseases, and sexually transmitted infections.

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