ARI at 60

03. June 2019

AO Research Institute Davos at 60

The AO Research Institute Davos (ARI) celebrates the 60th anniversary of its founding later this month on June 22. This is an apt moment to look back at how ARI has changed and grown over this time, and to review some of its highlights and achievements. 

Left: Prof Stephan Perren, AO Foundation founder (1984), ARI Director 1967-1995 
Right:Prof Martin Allgower, AO founder (1958), the first ARI Director 1959-1962
This, the first of a series of articles on ARI at 60, showcases some of those features that make ARI what it is today, a central part AO in Davos, Switzerland and of the orthopedic research community around the world. Established by the founding members of the AO on June 22, 1959 as the Laboratory for Experimental Surgery Davos, ARI undertakes advanced research to support the AO Foundation's mission. 

In its work to further the mission, ARI's purpose is to advance patient care through innovative orthopaedic research and development (orthopedics concerns musculoskeletal, spine and cranio-maxillo-facial trauma, degenerative musculoskeletal diseases, infections, and congenital disorders).

Left: Prof Geoff Richards (on the right), current ARI Director, receiving Doctor Honoris Causa, Varna, Bulgaria
Right: Laboratory for Experimental Surgery Davos, the AO's first research facility, was established at Villa Fontana in 1959

ARI's high quality applied preclinical research and development, both exploratory and translational, focuses on clinical applications and solutions to problems that currently arise in treatment. 

Today, ARI is a leader in its field, as it works to improve the efficacy of treatments available to patients. It has a close relationship with the AO's medical community, and has built productive relationships with universities and academic societies around the world.

Left: ARI 3-D printer
Right: Young researchers gain hands-on training experience at ARI
ARI offers fellowships to talented young surgeons with a demonstrable interest in research and development to solve clinical problems. It also took the groundbreaking step ten years ago of launching what was to become the world-leading open-access pre-clinical research journal in trauma: eCM​

Its research programs are carried out in key areas (biomedical development, musculoskeletal regeneration and infection, and preclinical services) and involve several areas of promising new developments – including sensors (such as the AO Fracture Monitor), sound acoustic-wave 3D cell printing, microRNA therapy and diagnostics (theranostics), and biomarkers for personalized medicine.

Since its founding, the city of Davos has been central to ARI's identity. To this day, ARI's advanced laboratories and research facilities are based in Davos, and the institute forms an essential part of Davos' status as a hub for scientific research.