Rafael Bernabeu, MD, PhD

Instituto Bernabeu

Avda. Albufereta, 31

03016 Alicante, Spain

0034 - 965 15 40 00

Dr Rafael Bernabeu is the medical director of Instituto Bernabeu, a clinic that specialises in reproductive medicine. In the mid-1980’s, in Alicante, Spain, Instituto Bernabeu was created and began as a consultation clinic with a focus on reproductive medicine. Today, it has grown to include 6 national clinics and includes a research facility. Instituto Bernabeu Biotech, an arm under Instituto Bernabeu Group, is a research centre that supports the work of molecular biology and genetics as well as encourages research in the field of reproductive medicine. Another arm under the Instituto Bernabeu Group, the Rafael Bernabeu Foundation, is a charitable organization that provides a wide range of community activities that enable the use of assisted reproduction techniques for couples with limited financial resources and also provide for future use, the free cryopreservation of the oocytes, who suffer from breast cancer. The same foundation also assists with research grants for young scientists in the field of reproductive medicine.

Rafael Bernabeu Doctor

Rafael Bernabeu is a leading pioneer in the field of reproductive medicine in Spain. His curiosity and interest in reproductive medicine started at a very young age. As a teen he was focused on becoming a medical doctor. Upon graduating from high school, he spent six years studying medicine at the University of Valencia. Following that, he spent the next 4 years at Hospital La Fe, a university hospital in Valencia, Spain, pursuing his specialty in Obstetrics and Gynaecology. Upon completion, he began working as a gynaecologist in various clinics around the Alicante. The year was 1985. The idea of reproductive medicine was simply that, an idea. Dr. Rafael Bernabeu took it upon himself and continued with postgraduate studies in Assisted Reproduction techniques, Gynaecology and Obstetrics. He attended some of the world’s leading centers like Cornell University and Johns Hopkins University. He attended conferences world-wide, and spoke with colleagues from other countries. In 1985, Dr. Rafael Bernabeu created his first sperm bank and performed the first artificial insemination. This was the beginning of many firsts as a pioneer in the field of reproductive medicine.

The following are some of his achievements:

In 1987, in the Valencia Region of Spain, the first IVF was performed and in August of 1988, the first IVF baby was born.
In 1989, Instituto Bernabeu had another success, the first pregnancy using GIFT.
In 1990, Instituto Bernabeu implemented an embryo freezing program.
In 1991, in Alicante, Spain, the first birth from a frozen embryo.
In 1993, in Alicante, Spain, the first birth from egg donation.
In 1994, Instituto Bernabeu reaches the mark of 100 births conceived using IVF.
In 1995, in Alicante, Spain, a baby was born through ICSI (Intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection) procedure.
In 1997, the first building of Instituto Bernabeu in Alicante, Spain was erected.
In 1998, in Alicante, Spain, a baby was born using spermatids. This is a first for Spain and the 6th worldwide.
In 2000, Instituto Bernabeu received a Research Award from the Spanish Society of Fertility (SEF). In the same year, Instituto Bernabeu started the PGD program (genetic diagnosis for eradicating hereditary diseases).
In 2001, Instituto Bernabeu clinic in Elche, Spain was opened.
In 2003, Instituto Bernabeu clinic in Cartagena, Spain was opened.
In 2004, the first worldwide birth of a girl, free from a hereditary disease that causes blindness (retinoschisis). Pre-implantation Genetic Diagnosis techniques developed at Instituto Bernabeu (MDA) was used. The same year, the first Chair of Reproductive Medicine in Europe was established in collaboration with Miguel Hernández University.
In 2006, the first birth of a child, free from Marfan syndrome. The technique of Pre-implantation Genetic Diagnosis developed at Instituto Bernabeu was used. This same year, Instituto Bernabeu was accredited with ISO 9001 and SEP (Private Healthcare Excellence) in all care processes, the first center of reproductive medicine and gynecology in Valencia and Murcia Regions to achieve these certifications.
In 2007, the Rafael Bernabeu Foundation was born. Dr. Rafael Bernabeu was nominated for the James I Award in the medical research category.
In 2008, Instituto Bernabeu clinic in Benidorm, Spain was opened. In that year, Instituto Bernabeu was honoured twice. First by the Confederation of Physically Handicapped in the Valencia Region (COCEMFE) honors both Instituto Bernabeu and the Rafael Bernabeu Foundation, for its "excellent scientific research work". Second, Instituto Bernabeu was accredited with a "Committed to Excellence" award by the European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM).
In 2009, Instituto Bernabeu Biotech, a subsidiary of the Biotechnology, Molecular Biology and Genetics arm of the Instituto Bernabeu Group was formed. In their first year, Biotech received the ASEBIR 2009 Award for Basic Research.
In 2010, Instituto Bernabeu Biotech received its first patent, won the national Award for Basic Research from the Spanish Fertility Society (SEF) and won the "Niccolo Paganini" Award at the International Congress for Marfan syndrome for their advances in the fight to eradicate the disease.
In 2011, Instituto Bernabeu wons more awards. First, the ICIRA Award for relevant data inputs in assisted reproduction treatment; the second, a National Award from SEGO in the ultrasound section for the best work in "ultrasound in gynecology"; and finally, the San Alberto Magno Award from the University of Alicante for "quality of teaching". That year, Instituto Bernabeu created an altruistic programme for the preservation of fertility in patients suffering from breast cancer.
In 2012, Instituto Bernabeu is awarded 2nd prize by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) in the best poster category.
In 2013, the Chair of Reproductive Medicine at the University of Alicante was created. This year also marked the 25th Anniversary of the first IVF birth of a child in the Valencia Region.
In 2013 is appointed Referee of national and international publications on fertility for 'Reproductive BioMedicine Online (RBMOnline)'.
In 2014, he is granted the Recognition for Lifetime Achievement Award in the category of "Other Areas Relief" by the General Council of Medical Associations.
In 2015, awarded the first place prize for original work. 8th Edition of Angel Bayo Awards. ASESA (Spanish Andrology Society). Title of the award-winning project: "Study of structural damage after sperm immobilisation prior to intracytoplasmic sperm injection in teratozoospermic males".
In 2015, Instituto Bernabeu clinic in Albacete, Spain was opened.
In 2015, Instituto Bernabeu and the University of Castilla La Mancha sign a collaboration agreement to foment R&D in the field of Reproductive Medicine.
In 2015, Spanish Andrology Society (ASESA) first prize for the best original research work.
In 2015, Instituto Bernabeu is awarded the QH recognition of Excellence in Quality Healthcare.
In 2015, Instituto Bernabeu is the first clinic in the Valencia and La Mancha regions of Spain to be awarded the new UNE 179007 quality certification in assisted reproduction.
In 2016, Dr Rafael Bernabeu appointed Vice-President of the Sterility and Infertility Section of the SEGO (Spanish Society of Obstetrics and Gynaecology).
In 2016, after several years of research, Instituto Bernabeu Poor Ovarian Response Unit along with IB Biotech –our genetics team-, have discovered for the first time the genes involved in ovarian reserve. IBgen IVF.
In 2016, The Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness awards Instituto Bernabeu the innovative company award in recognition of its work in R&D.
In 2016, Instituto Bernabeu awarded the IN4Bankia Prize for Innovation.
In 2017, Instituto Bernabeu clinic in Madrid, Spain was opened.
In 2017, is appointed Referee of national and international publications on fertility for 'Human Reproduction'.
Rafael Bernabeu

Dr. Rafael Bernabeu has represented reproductive medicine interests on several national and international committees. He sat on the executive committee of the Spanish Fertility Society. He was the Founder and First President of ANACER (National Association of Centres of Reproductive Medicine). His clinical research interests include current treatment options in repeat implantation failure, recurring pregnancy losses and severe male factors. He has published over 150 papers and presented in more than 40 conferences nationally and internationally.

Dr. Rafael Bernabeu and his wife have been blessed with 2 children and 3 grandchildren. He enjoys spending time on the weekends with his family. To keep his body fit, Dr. Bernabeu enjoys running as well as cycling. To keep his mind sharp, he enjoys reading.


International Scientific Publications



  • Uterine arteriovenous malformation. British Medical Journal (BMJ) Case Rep 2013.doi: 10.1136/bcr-2012-008443. February 2013.F. Sellers, A. Palacios, B. Moliner, R. Bernabeu.
































  • Deletion of chromosome 13: 46, XY del (13) (q14->qter) after in vitro fertilization and tubal embryo transfer. Journal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics, Vol. 13, No 6. July 1996. M. Bonada, N. Cremades, F. Galán, R. Bernabeu.



© Instituto Bernabeu