We would like to welcome you to the Biodonostia Health Research Institute, the first institute for health research in the Basque Country.

Osakidetza – Servicio Vasco de Salud (the Basque Health Service, SVS) performs its main Research and Innovation activities through its 3 Health Research Institutes (HRI): Bioaraba HRI, Biocruces-Bizkaia HRI, Biodonostia HRI and its Kronigune Health Services Research Centre. These four R&D&I Centres, together with the Basque Foundation for Health Innovation and Research (BIOEF) which acts as their corporate head, make up the Map of R&D&I Institutions in the Basque Public Health System.

Biodonostia HRI preferentially boosts translational research focusing on the patient; it covers all research carried out in Gipuzkoa within the framework of the Basque Health Service (Osakidetza – SVS) and aims to improve people’s health through its multi-institutional and inter-disciplinary collaborative structure. This website aims to be a showcase of our activity.

There have been many milestones along the way since it was created back in 2008, thanks to the commitment shown by the researchers, public bodies and other funding bodies. Out of all these milestones, the inauguration of the renovated building in 2010 and its accreditation in 2011 as a Health Research Institute by the prestigious Carlos III Institute of Health (Instituto de Salud Carlos III) should be highlighted. What is more, the Biodonostia HRI was re-accredited in 2016 and in 2021 which meant that it remained at the elite group of accredited Health Institutes at a national level.

Our research is arranged in 7 Vertical Research Areas and 3 Cross-cutting Research Areas  that bring together around 350 researchers in 26 groups. With the purpose of boosting scientific advances, the Biodonostia HRI has managed to establish a unique composition that makes it stand out from all the other Institutes, through the integration of the most important technological agents in Gipuzkoa.

The core of the Institute is the Donostialdea IHO (Integrated Health Organisation), and its field of reference is constituted by the IHOs in the territory of Gipuzkoa: Bidasoa, Debabarrena, Debagoiena, Goierri-Urola Garaia and Tolosaldea. Like the majority of Health Research Institutes, it is also part of the University, in our case the University of the Basque Country (UPV – EHU). Also incorporated at this level are the Gipuzkoa Provincial Council, the Euskampus Foundati on and the Ikerbasque Foundation, thanks to which it has been possible to increase the critical mass of researchers by incorporating personnel of widespread international renown.

The Institute’s singular nature lies in its other members. The Gipuzkoa Science and Technology Park is home to a vast number of technology-based centres, among which are the centres forming part of the Institute: Vicomtech, Cidetec, Osatek, Matía Gerontological Institute and Onkologikoa, as well as other partner centres not falling within its Governing Bodies: BCBL, CIC nanoGUNE, CIC biomaGUNE, CITA Alzheimer, the Dr Carlos Elosegui Foundation at the Policlínica Gipuzkoa and Tecnalia. The research subjects tackled are: micro and nano biotechnologies, biomaterials, molecular imaging, and audiovisual technologies, e-health, gerontology, cognition, brain and language, among others.

The Institute aspires to be an international centre of reference in the field of health research and preferentially promotes innovation in medical and health technologies with the aim of advancing in sustainability of the system. It therefore participates in the ITEMAS ISCIII Platform (Platform for Innovation in Medical and Healthcare Technologies), known from 2021 as Revitalisation and innovation of the industrial capacities of the NHS and their effective transfer to the production sector. Today the Biodonostia HRI sits on the ITEMAS Board of Directors, whose role is to provide support and backing to the Coordinator of the Platform in its key areas. It also participates in the SCReN (Clinical Research and Clinical Trial Units Platform) as one of the hubs making up the endeavour at state level. It has now renewed its membership of the new ISCIII Platform lending support to R&D&I in Biomedicine and Health Sciences – Support for clinical research.

The Institute is also part of REGIC, the first Association of Clinical Research Managing Bodies, created in Spain at the instance of professionals to share experiences and create a space for interaction and training in the management of health care R&D.

Lastly, worthy of note is the fact that since 2016 the Institute has been participating in the EATRIS (European Infrastructure for Translational Medicine) Platforms for Advanced Therapy Medicinal Products, Biomarkers and Vaccinations. Recently, EATRIS Spain, in collaboration with the Carlos III Health Institute, within its functions of reinforcing its strategic agenda and promoting the participation of accredited HRIs in international activities, has created a Scientific Committee to provide support in the making of strategic decisions at EATRIS Spain. Dr. Estefanía Carrasco from the Oncology Area of the Biodonostia HRI has been selected to sit on that Committee.

For me, it is both a challenge and a responsibility to lead this team of professionals, and I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate them on the extraordinary work they are doing.

I would also like to express my appreciation for the continued support we have received from all the Bodies that make up the Institute, working together with the common purpose of improving people’s health and generating wealth in our region.


Julio Arrizabalaga Aguirreazaldegui
Scientific Director of Biodonostia HRI

Dr. Julio Arrizabalaga Aguirreazaldegui was a Research Coordinator at the Donostia Hospital in the years 2008-2009, bringing the hospital services to agents at the Technology Park, leading to their joint development of a Strategic R&D&I Plan, embryo of the future Biodonostia Health Research Institute (Biodonostia HRI). Scientific Director of the Biodonostia HRI since 2009.
PhD in Medicine and Surgery from the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU) in 1990, Postgraduate Diploma in “Statistics and Design of Health Studies” in 2004, Internal Medicine Specialist Practitioner in 1988, Infectious Diseases Specialist Practitioner since 1989 at the Donostia University Hospital (Donostialdea IHO) with a permanent statutory appointment.
Professor of Medical Pathology in the field of Infectious Diseases at the UPV/EHU (2006-2016). Professor of the Master’s Degree in AIDS at the University of Barcelona and of the Master’s Degree in AIDS at the Autonomous University of Madrid (1996-2000).
Member of the Spanish Network for AIDS Research (RIS) since its beginnings until today. President of SEINORTE and member of SEIMC and GESIDA. Member of the Editorial Board of the Enfermedades Infecciosas y Microbiología Clínica Journal.
Head of the Bioengineering Area at the Biodonostia HRI, leading the Innovation Group. Coordinator of the ITEMAS Network/Platform at the Donostia University Hospital/Biodonostia HRI node since its beginnings in 2009 until today. Principal Researcher of CAIBER and SCReN at the Donostia University Hospital/Biodonostia HRI node from 2008 until 2016.
Assessor of the Infectious Diseases Area Project at the FIS health research fund until 2014, joining the HR Selection Panel of ISCIII Institution in 2014. Member of the Scientific Committee and/or Organiser of National AIDS Congresses and SEIMC and of the International AIDS Conferences in Yokohama, Barcelona and Durban.
Member of the Advisory Committee of the Biosciences-Health Binomial Pilot Group of the RIS3 strategy in the Basque Country. Member of the INNOBASQUE Technology Innovation Board since 2008. Member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Research and Innovation Institute of the Hospital Universitari Parc Taulí.
Participant in the ITEMAS-USA Mission “Healthcare Innovation and Entrepreneurship”, in which, on invitation from the US Department of State (International Visitor Leadership Program) and together with other experts from the Platform of Innovation in Medical and Health Technologies, he visited different centres in Washington, Cleveland and Boston in 2020, with the aim of generating exchange and opening commercial opportunities.


Biodonostia HRI was accredited in 2011 as a Health Research Institute by the prestigious Carlos III Institute of Health (Instituto de Salud Carlos III). What is more, the Biodonostia Health Research Institute (HRI) was re-accredited in 2016.