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The BC Centre for Disease Control is affliated with the University of British Columbia in conducting and coordinating research, education and policy development.

​Our mandate

In 1997 UBC Centre for Disease Control (UBC CDC) was created in part by the Ministry of Health as centre of excellence in the area of public health communicable disease control. 

The main goal was to embed an academic mission within the public health service role of the BC Centre for Disease Control and provide a comprehensive approach to public health in British Columbia.

Our mandate is:

  • to advance health research
  • teaching
  • public health policy

We work to our mandate by linking the academic and research expertise of UBC with the expertise and experience of public health professionals at the BCCDC.

BCCDC, the provincial public health centre responsible for protecting and enhancing the health of all British Columbians, is the keystone connecting British Columbia’s population health objectives to Canada and the world. BCCDC is a unique population and public health institution in Canada and is an agency under the Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA).

UBC CDC is the academic arm of BCCDC; conducting and coordinating research, education and policy development in support of provincial, national and international programs for infectious disease control and prevention. 

UBC CDC provides provincial and national leadership in public health through a global standard of excellence in the management and prevention of greater than 40 infectious diseases. It is the provincial centre of excellence in research on the surveillance, control and prevention of infectious diseases, effectively linking academia, governments, health organizations and the public in understanding communicable diseases; UBC CDC is making a significant difference.

Collaboration and interdisciplinary work encompass the operational foundation of the UBC CDC and as such, extensive relationships have been fostered with related faculties, departments and groups within UBC. The relationship between the University of British Columbia, the UBC Faculty of Medicine and the UBC CDC has been inextricably linked and supported through research, policy, administration and education. 

The host institutions, BCCDC and the University of British Columbia, have provided the UBC CDC with a state-of-the-art research environment, and contributed nationally and internationally recognized health professionals and researchers. Moreover, the unique partnership UBC CDC has with both the BCCDC and the University of BC has 

  • facilitated recruitment
  • provided academic career paths
  • created excellent student placements and learning environments
  • supported research with informatics, statistical analysis, and communication resources

 UBC CDC Faculty research projects have been, and are currently funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), British Columbia Lung AssociationNational Institute of Health (NIH), British Columbia Medical Services Foundation (BCMSF), Genome British ColumbiaMichael Smith Foundation for Health Research (MSFHR), Pan Provincial Vaccine Enterprise Inc., Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA), Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), British Columbia Ministry of Health and BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC).



Having moved into its new facility in September 1997, the BCCDC is a five level, 175,982 square foot structure with advanced microbiology laboratories including state-of-the-art containment level 3 facilities and molecular laboratory diagnostic capabilities, in addition to centralized information management systems. 

Both clinical and laboratory programs are housed within the Centre. Over 10,000 square feet within the BCCDC building is dedicated to the research and teaching areas of the UBC CDC.


The UBC agreement with the BCCDC to establish the UBC CDC was formally approved in late 1997. The main goal of bringing the two entities together was to provide a holistic approach to public health. The UBC CDC was established as a centre of excellence in the area of public health communicable disease control.

The University of British Columbia provided a Medical Director, Dr. Robert Brunham, to be responsible for ensuring professional competency, coordinating clinical and research staff, and providing policy recommendations to the BCCDC. The University also agreed to provide faculty appointments to those members of the BCCDC staff who were significantly involved in teaching programs at the University.



The Genome Research Lab uses cutting-edge DNA sequencing technology to understand the origins and spread of infectious disease outbreaks and to monitor the ongoing evolution of pathogens of interest. The lab works closely with the Public Health Microbiology and Reference Laboratory, as well as with academic collaborators worldwide, on a variety of applied epidemiology projects.   

Mathematical modeling 

Mathematical modeling is an effective means for predicting the behavior of large, complex systems such as infectious disease spread. Models are analytical and computational tools that allow us to simulate the spread of diseases through a variety of settings and test different intervention strategies. 

Mathematical Modeling Services (MMS) is multi-disciplinary and has an extensive collaborative network among leading researchers and healthcare professionals worldwide. 

MMS provides modeling expertise and plays a leading role in developing infectious disease transmission models to support public health policy design. These models can also be used to examine holistic health systems approaches to target interventions, both locally and globally.  

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