The Bristol Institute for Transfusion Sciences (BITS) and International Blood Group Reference Laboratory (IBGRL) are NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) laboratories in Bristol, England.
The BITS was established in 1996 to bring together research and teaching at IBGRL, the Bristol Blood Centre and the University of Bristol. Today, there are three programs of research; cellular therapies, antibody therapies and blood safety.
The IBGRL was established in 1946 to provide Reference Services related to blood transfusion. In 1952, the IBGRL was designated a collaborating centre for the World Health Organisation. One of IBGRL’s functions is to maintain a database of donors with rare blood types. Authorized laboratories can interrogate the International Rare Donor Panel directly via this web site. The IBGRL has a distinguished record of research in blood transfusion science. Some of this research has led to the generation of a range of monoclonal antibodies which are available to researchers around the world as IBGRL Research Products.
One of the IBGRL’s primary roles is to provide specialist clinical diagnostic services for NHS Blood and Transplant. The IBGRL provides those services whose quality and cost-effectiveness are maximised by provision from a single Centre which has expert staff and has available a collection of very rare reagents and uses sophisticated techniques to resolve difficult problems in relatively small numbers of patients.
The major areas of diagnostic expertise are in red cell reference and blood group genotyping.