Doctor Rafael Bernabeu receives the Gold and Diamond Medal from the Alicante Chamber of Commerce.

December, 4th 2023

Doctor Rafael Bernabeu receives the Gold and Diamond Medal from the Alicante Chamber of Commerce.
  • The director and founder of Instituto Bernabeu received from the President of the Valencian Community, Mr. Carlos Mazón, and the President of the Alicante Chamber of Commerce, Mr. Carlos Baño, the highest recognition awarded by the entity for his scientific and business career and his commitment to the science advance.
  • Among his most memorable professional milestones are the first pregnancy after IVF in the Valencian Community, the first cases of pregnancy achieved with spermatids in Spain, and the description in 2016 of the genes involved in ovarian reserve, with more than 400 scientific publications led by him and his team.
  • He was one of the pioneers in the development of the embryo genetic diagnosis, achieving, among other advances, the world’s first birth of a baby girl free of hereditary blindness (retinoschisis) and the world’s first birth free of Marfan Syndrome in 2006.

The Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Services and Navigation of Alicante has awarded the business career of Dr Rafael Bernabeu, director and founder of Instituto Bernabeu, with its highest award, the Gold and Diamond Medal. The Chamber of Commerce has valued his “unwavering commitment to his vocation and his homeland. He has managed to place our city at the forefront of scientific innovation worldwide”. The distinction was presented by its president, Mr. Carlos Baño, together with the president of the Valencian Community, Mr. Carlos Mazón, during the celebration, last Tuesday 28th November, of the 48th edition of the Alicante Economy Night in the auditorium of the European Union Intellectual Property Office in Alicante (EUIPO).

Dr Bernabeu, who was accompanied by his family, thanked them for their support: “This recognition is not only a personal honour, but a tribute to all of those who have shared with me the vision of advancing in excellence and innovation in reproductive medicine”.

Gynaecologist and Doctor in Medicine by vocation. Entrepreneur by necessity, which he detects and provides himself with the best team, the highest level of technology and means in order to give reproductive solutions for his patients.

48 Noche de la economia alicantina-entrega medalla de oro y brillantes

Dr Rafael Bernabeu is an international reference in the field of assisted reproduction. He currently directs Instituto Bernabeu, which has 9 clinics, 8 of which are in Spain and one in Italy, where he treats patients from 137 countries who require personalised treatments.

His curiosity and interest in the field of reproductive medicine awoke in him at a very early age, deciding to go into a branch of gynaecology that, at that time, was experimental: he completed his training with postgraduate studies in Assisted Reproduction techniques, attending some of the most important centres in the world, such as Cornwell, NY and Johns Hopkins University. In 1985 he set up one of the first sperm banks in the country, obtaining his first pregnancies through artificial insemination. It was in this decade -when society was so reluctant and there was so much to discover about the reproductive process- that he achieved the first pregnancy by in vitro fertilisation in the Valencian Community and set up one of the first Spanish embryo freezing programmes.

Always alert to advances, he was a visionary in his commitment to the development of genetics applied to assisted reproduction, leading one of the first European Embryo Genetic Diagnosis programmes with the aim of preventing offspring from suffering from the diseases its parents are carriers of. At the head of his multidisciplinary team, he achieved the world’s first case of a baby girl born free of hereditary blindness (retinoschisis) and the first birth of a child free of Marfan Syndrome, among other advances.

More than 400 scientific research studies have been carried out at his Institution, as a result of the search for individualised treatments for his patients, and have been published in the most important scientific journals in the speciality: Human Reproduction, Fertility and Sterility, Reproductive Biomedicine Online, Journal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics, Histology and Histopathology, Ebioforum Europe, among others, as well as writing chapters in different specialised books.

Among the different distinctions he has received for his professional development, special mention should be made of his appointment as an Academician of the Royal Academy of Medicine of Zaragoza, or the award granted by the General Council of Official Spanish Associations by the Minister of Health at the time, Ana Mato, in recognition of this professional career in the category “Other areas of care”.

The most important scientific societies in the sector have recognised numerous research projects by the scientific team he leads, highlighting the one of the first prizes of the American Foundation for Reproductive Medicine (FRM) in 2017, the 2nd prize of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) in 2012 and the British Fertility Society (BFS) Award in 2014. Two first prizes from the Spanish Fertility Society (SEF), one in 2000 and the other in 2010. The first prizes of the Spanish Society for the Study of Reproductive Biology (ASEBIR) in its 2009, 2013 and 2021 editions or the first prize of the Spanish Association of Andrology (ASESA) in 2012, among others.

His conviction to link healthcare activity with teaching activity led him to create two university chairs: The Chair of Reproductive Biology at the University of Alicante and the Chair of Reproductive Medicine at the Faculty of Medicine of the Miguel Hernandez University of Elche, of which he is the director. He is also the director of the Master’s Degree in Reproductive Medicine that Instituto Bernabeu organises jointly with the University of Alicante.

He stands for a humanist education and deep-rooted ethical principles. His commitment and social involvement are expressed through the Foundation’s different activities that carriers his name and whose purpose are social and cultural development, training and support for university students, as well as medical and financial aid for techniques difficult to access.

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