TRC Alupe has metamorphosed from the time of its formation in 1977 to the current VSRI TRC Alupe having been a sub-centre of initially Kenya Trypanosomiasis Research Institute, KETRI to Then Kenya Agricultural Research Institute TRC.
The hospital is the main referral centre for sleeping sickness management. The goal of the hospital since it was established was to set strategies for effective surveillance, develop rapid field diagnostic techniques and management of sleeping sickness with the view to control and possibly eradicate the disease in Kenya. Among other priorities of the research mandate of the hospital was to incorporate sleeping sickness in Primary Health Care. From the year of establishment to date the hospital has continued to operate as research hospital though now partially, due to drastic reduction of HAT cases.
The laboratory at the hospital has also been a satellite laboratory for animal trypanosomiasis.