The beginning of Clinical Research at University Hospital Vall d'Hebron runs parallel to the creation of the Departament of Internal Medicine in 1970. Soon after excellence research arose, focused in the Biochemistry Laboratory, supervised by Dr. Simon Schwartz. From this work derives in 1990 the creation of the Unit of Metabolic Research 'Santiago Grisolía', and afterwards, in 1995, the creation of the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Research Center (CIBBIM) of the University Hospital Vall d'Hebron. Experimental Cardiology Laboratory was also a pioneer in lab research growth. The first location was an old depot in hospital grounds.
With the help of Andrés Gorritxo, Hospital Manager, the Research & Teaching Director position was created (1992-1995) and its first and only manager was Dr. Simon Schwartz. In 1994, the Research & Teaching Foundation was created with the aim to promote research. Its initial funds came from private Foundations and non-profit associations.
The next step was to create the Scientific Committee, chaired by Dr. Soler and where Dr. Montalban acted as Executive Secretary. The research impact factor determined which groups should be represented in the committee and how the funds provided by the hospital as grants for the acquisition, essentially of disposable goods, should be distributed. Different activities were organized, among them to be highlighted, the Vall d’Hebron Conference. It was the beginning of the history of the Executive Scientific Committee, which had the capacity, among others, to decide about grants.
Dr. Soler obtained funding from Mr. Jiménez, a successful builder at the time that provided an important sum of money that was used for the creation of the Experimental Cardiology Laboratory. Addiontaly, the Regional Health Department, chaired by Dr. Xavier Trias, provided a substantial amount to transform an old warehouse into the future laboratories of cardiology, digest, hepathology and infectious diseases. As well as an animal house with pigs and other associated facilities (warehouse and offices).
These buildings have been expanded to accommodate a larger number of laboratories and different research support central services have been added over the years.
In 2002 it was decided to divide research and teaching, and the Research Institute Foundation was created. The Scientific Committee was not executive anymore, but only consultative. Dr. Sáez became Research Director. Research facilities were expanded again, with the addition of a new wing with two laboratories, an enlarged animal house and several classrooms.
Regarding internal structure, the new organization chart added the creation of the Board of Trustees and the Research Institute Executive Board.
After the death of Dr. Sáez, Dr. Feliu was appointed Director, and completed some of the projects started by his predecessor, such as UCTS, new laboratories or new classrooms. At that point, the project of Vall d'Hebron Biomedical Resarch Park was presented for the first time.
In 2004, Dr. José Luis de Sancho was appointed as hospital general manager, stressing the interaction hospital and research.
Following Dr. Feliu, Dr. García-Dorado led a transition period a the Reseach Institute from September 2008 until September 2009, when he combined his responsabilities both in the Scientific Committee and in the Cardiology Area. During this period the Accreditation as Research Institute, which was initiated by Dr. Feliu, was achieved.
In September 2009, Dr. Joan Comella was appointed new director of the Research Institute. Since then sustained efforts have been made to mantain the leadership in biomedical research and to become a model in clinical research. Following his arrival, the Researchs Institute encourages innovation, communication and fundraising.