Rafael Bernabeu is a leading pioneer in the field of reproductive medicine. His curiosity and interest in reproductive medicine started at a very young age. As a teenager, 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 and decided to bet on a branch of gynecology that was experimental at that time. He continued with postgraduate studies in Assisted Reproduction techniques, Gynaecology and Obstetrics and attended some of the world’s leading centers like Cornell University and Johns Hopkins University. 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, his 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, the first birth from a frozen embryo in Alicante, Spain.
In 1993, the first birth from egg donation in Alicante, Spain.
In 1994, Instituto Bernabeu reaches the mark of 100 births conceived using IVF.
In 1995, the first baby was born through ICSI (Intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection) procedure in Alicante, Spain.
In 1997, opening of the first building, current headquarters of Instituto Bernabeu in Alicante.
In 1998, a baby was born using spermatids in Alicante, Spain. 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 her editary diseases).
In 2001, opening of the Instituto Bernabeu clinic in Elche, Spain.
In 2003, opening of the Instituto Bernabeu clinic in Cartagena, Spain.
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) were used. The same year, the first Department Chair of Reproductive Medicine in Europe was established in collaboration with Miguel Hernández University.
In 2006, the first child was born 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 patient 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, Opening of Instituto Bernabeu clinic in Benidorm, Spain. In the same year, Instituto Bernabeu was honoured twice. Firstly, 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". Secondly, Instituto Bernabeu was accredited with a "Committed to Excellence" award by the European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM).
In 2009, Instituto Bernabeu Biotech is born as a Biotechnology, Molecular Biology and Genetics branch of Instituto Bernabeu. In their first year, Biotech received the ASEBIR 2009 Award for Basic Research.
In 2010, Instituto Bernabeu Biotech received its first patent. It won the national Award for Basic Research from the Spanish Fertility Society (SEF) and 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 won more awards. First, the ICIRA Award for relevant data inputs in assisted reproduction treatments; 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 Department Chair of Reproductive Medicine at the University of Alicante was created. This was also the year for the 25th Anniversary of the first IVF birth of a child in the Valencia Region.
In 2013, Dr. Bernabeu 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 Healthcare fields" by the General Council of Medical Associations.
In 2015, Dr. Bernabeu is 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, opening of Instituto Bernabeu clinic in Albacete, Spain.
In 2015, Instituto Bernabeu and the University of Castilla La Mancha sign a collaboration agreement to promote R&D in the field of Reproductive Medicine.
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 IS appointed Vice-President of the Sterility and Infertility Section of the SEGO (Spanish Society of Obstetrics and Gynaecology).
In 2016, Instituto Bernabeu Poor Ovarian Response Unit along with IB Biotech –our genetics team-, discover the genes involved in ovarian reserve. IBgen IVF.
In 2016, The Ministry recognized Instituto Bernabeu as an innovative company for its R&D work.
In 2016, Instituto Bernabeu is awarded the IN4Bankia Prize for Innovation.
In 2017, Opening of Instituto Bernabeu clinic in Madrid, Spain.
In 2017, Dr. Bernabeu is appointed Referee of national and international publications on fertility for 'Human Reproduction'.
In 2018, Instituto Bernabeu identifies the genetic variants involved in implantation failure and repeat miscarriages.
In 2019, opens Instituto Bernabeu clinic in Palma de Mallorca, Spain.
Dr. Rafael Bernabeu has represented reproductive medicine interests on several national and international committees. He participated 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 has been invited in more than 40 conferences nationally and internationally.
Dr. Rafael Bernabeu has been an ultra-deep runner and currently maintains adequate physical activity. He enjoys reading multiple disciplines and listening to different types of music.
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