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The Blood Group Reference Centre (BGRC) made its debut in 1957 as a result of active interest shown by Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) in the field of blood banking. The functions entrusted to BGRC were few but of national importance.

  • To train the people in methodology of blood grouping and blood banking.
  • To prepare and supply standard blood grouping reagents.
  • To work as a reference centre for the unsolved problems of cross matching.
  • To prepare and maintain a list of rare bloods and conduct research in this unknown field in the country at that time.

This centre which was started by ICMR basically to solve problems in blood banking, slowly branched out successfully to initiate research in various other related areas of immunohaematology viz. biochemical genetics , red cell enzymopathies and hemoglobinopathies , population genetics, antenatal serology, Immunology, HLA etc. In the first twenty five years, using limited space, limited resources and budget, talented and highly enthusiastic young scientists from the center under the guidance of dynamic stalwarts Dr. H M Bhatia and Dr. A J Baxi could produce as many as 271 publications of which 71 were published in prestigious international journals. The centre had many discoveries to it's credit. Seeing this progress, ICMR decided to rechristen BGRC as 'Institute of Immunohaematolgy' at the time of the Silver Jubilee Celebrations of the Institute in 1982 to accommodate all the departments of the centre under one roof .

Subsequently the Institute could mobilize various International collaborations to develop many advanced techniques. Five years after celebrating it's silver jubilee, due to the untiring efforts of Dr. Bhatia, the Institute could get one floor in the newly constructed multi-storeyed building in the KEM Hospital campus.

Our motto is to conduct basic and clinical research for the benefit of society and ultimately the nation. Newer areas developed included molecular genetics and prenatal diagnosis of hemoglobinopathies, hemostasis and thrombosis, cytogenetics and molecular cytogenetics, cell biology applications in hematology and stem cell research. While celebrating its 50 years of existence, the Institute has developed in stature as an "unique". Institute conducting basic and applied research, providing reference services (for routine and specialized tests) to needy patients and offering training especially in blood banking methodology and several blood bank technicians and medical officers and molecular hematology thus ultimately helping the society in different ways.

Considering these facts ICMR decided to give the Institute a national status and renamed it as "National Institute of Immunohaematology" on 5th February 2008. The coming years will see further expansion of its activities.