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About Us

The Bureau of Clinical Laboratories (BCL) is an essential component of the state and the national public health laboratory systems. The laboratory began operation in 1908 "to aid the physicians of the state in diagnosing and treating disease, thus materially contributing to the prevention of disease and to the prolongation of life." Since that time, Alabama citizens have depended on the state laboratory to help maintain a high quality of health and life.


To lead the State, through both laboratory science and service, in improving and protecting the public's health from current and future diseases and disasters.


The mission of the Bureau of Clinical Laboratories (BCL) is to give laboratory support for public health programs and policy decisions that protect and promote the health of the citizens of Alabama.

Goals and Objectives

The goal of the BCL is to provide the highest quality service possible for the health care provider through the following objectives:

1. Perform the requested laboratory test on the appropriate specimen in an accurate and timely manner.

2. Report laboratory test results in an accurate and timely manner.

3. Assure accuracy of testing performed following accepted procedures for quality control.

The BCL affects the lives of nearly every citizen of the state. The laboratorians' responsibilities range from screening every baby born in the state for specific genetic disorders and determining the causative agents of foodborne disease outbreaks to testing water for bacteria and assisting the FBI with investigations involving biological or chemical terrorism. These examples are just a snapshot of the kind of work that over 130 staff perform for the state's citizens daily.

The BCL offers its citizens quality services through a vast array of technical specialties such as reference bacteriology, chemistry, molecular biology, serology, sanitation bacteriology, metabolic analysis, virology, and hematology. The laboratory ensures up-to-date training of its staff and state-of-the-art equipment.

The BCL consists of two labs. The central lab is in Montgomery and a regional lab is in Mobile. While each lab performs tests unique for its entity, some are duplicated in both labs. The BCL houses eight divisions and about 110 employees.

Page last updated: May 13, 2021