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History Snapshot of AFMR

Dr. Henry Christian
Dr. Henry Christian
The American Federation for Clinical Research (AFCR) was founded in 1940 by Dr. Henry Christian, then dean of Harvard Medical School. The AFCR offered young researchers the opportunity to present their findings to their peers and to receive the guidance of senior scientists.

During the 1960s, the AFCR was also drawn into public policy activities. In response to an inquiry from Senator Hubert Humphrey, who consistently supported legislation for medical research in the war on disease, the AFCR National Council offered their advice regarding federal funding.

In 1990, The Henry Christian Awards were established to honor Dr. Henry Christian and are presented annually by the Federation.

In 1996, the name of the association was formally changed from the American Federation for Clinical Research (AFCR) to the American Federation for Medical Research (AFMR) to more accurately reflect its goals to "improve the public health by developing programs to promote and support medical researchers, and by fostering research in all medical disciplines through public policy initiatives and educational programs."

The AFMR is proud that six members have been honored as Nobel Prize winners in Physiology, Medicine and Chemistry:

  • 1985: Michael S. Brown & Joseph L. Goldstein – regulation of cholesterol metabolism
  • 1990: Joseph E. Murray – organ and cell transplantation in the treatment of human disease
  • 1998: Ferid Murad – nitric oxide as a signalling molecule in the cardiovascular system
  • 2011: Bruce A. Beutler – activation of innate immunity
  • 2012: Robert J. Lefkowitz – G-protein-coupled receptors

In 2015, AFMR celebrated their 75th Anniversary in Washington DC, with the attendance of a number of prominent Past Presidents of the organization. Read their comments in the 75th Anniversary Reception Program.

In keeping with our mission to "develop and mentor tomorrow’s leaders in medical research", AFMR continues to promote opportunities for young scientists to present their research, offers career development for new and mid-level investigators, and proactively advocates for financial support while participating in federal policymaking.

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