The CBR is home to more than 40 research groups that employ a broad range of basic science, biotechnological, engineering and clinical investigative methods to address blood and blood-related science and health-related questions. CBR research groups are led by chemists, biologists, biochemists, pathologists, immunologists, geneticists, engineers, psychologists, sociologists, dentists, pediatricians, hematologists, oncologists, virologists and microbiologists, who are based in the Faculties of Medicine, Applied Science and Engineering, Arts, Sociology, Dentistry, Pharmaceutical Science and Science.
The reason for creating a multidisciplinary research institute with a focus on blood emanated from a Royal Commission of Inquiry on the Blood System in Canada in the 1980s when HIV and hepatitis entered the Canadian blood supply. Among many recommendations, Judge Krever called for a renewed emphasis on research excellence in the broad area of blood and blood transfusion. In 2002, a group of professors from the University of British Columbia (UBC) led by the founding director of the CBR, Dr. Ross MacGillivray, gathered a team of scientists, engineers, social scientists and clinicians with expertise in a range of disciplines who could in combination address blood-related issues and health problems more effectively than they could individually.
The CBR attempts to promote public awareness of the potential value of blood-related research for improving patient health. Training and education programs have been established at the CBR for scientists and clinicians interested in pursuing careers in the field of blood and blood-related processes.