Instituto de Investigação em Ciências da Vida e Saúde

organisation | Instituto de Investigação em Ciências da Vida e Saúde


The Life and Health Sciences Research Institute (ICVS) was created in 2003 and aims at improving human health through outstanding life-science research, cutting-edge medical innovation and delivery of specialized services.

The ICVS is a R&D Unit incorporated in the School of Health Sciences (ECS) – University of Minho, strategically located in the Northern region of Portugal within a fast growing Cluster of Biomedical Science, Technology and Healthcare institutions, being organized around three interdisciplinary Research Domains: Microbiology and InfectionNeurosciences and Surgical Sciences. Simultaneously it also harbours the recently created Spinal Cord Injury Initiatiave @ ICVS (SCIICVS), an academic based network aimed at fostering cutting edge research in SCI regenerative medicine, whith a strong interaction with local hospital, palliative care centres and patient associations.

The strategy for the ICVS development has been centred in: i) establishing a research unit within an innovative Medical School guided by international standards of excellence; ii) fostering a strategic partnership with the affiliated Health Care Institutions and; iii) establishing a consortium with the research group 3B’s – Biomaterials, Biodegradables and Biomimetics– a leading research group in Health Technology.

In the framework of the national R&D network, the ICVS has been consecutively evaluated by international panels with the maximum rank of “Excellent” and benefits from the guidance of a panel of renowned international scientific advisors.

More than 250 researchers with complementary academic backgrounds are presently working at the ICVS. The biomedical, translational and clinical research results in more than 100 publications/year in international top-level scientific journals. Many of the ICVS researchers, including young scientists and MDs, have been honoured with awards for their scientific achievements.

The ICVS integrates the ICVS/3B’s – Associate Laboratory and is a member of the Clinical Academic Centre – Braga, Association (CCAB).

– The ICVS/3B’s – Associate Laboratory results from a strategic partnership consolidated over the years with the 3B’s Group – Biomaterials, Biodegradables and Biomimetics. The ICVS/3B’s – Associate Laboratory gathers together the fields of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences with Biomedical and Materials Engineering, maximizing the development of innovative diagnostic and therapeutic products and the capacity of providing specialized services in the Health-Science/Technology interface. Emphasis is given to Regenerative Medicine and other Advanced Therapies, Stem Cells and Nanomedicine, with potential added value for diverse clinical areas, including neurosciences, infectious diseases and surgery.

– The Clinical Academic Center – Braga (CCAB) results from a partnership between the UMinho and the Hospital de Braga, with a focus on research, education, training and caring in a clinical setting. The CCAB is in a privileged position to ally basic and clinical research, maximizing the development of innovative biomaterials, diagnostic strategies, regenerative approaches and therapeutic products. With basis on this health ecosystem infrastructure, the CCAB seeks to strengthen the UMinho position as a leader in bioscience innovation and translational research, promoting the maintenance of health during lifespan and, most importantly, contributing to add quality to life through innovative breakthroughs.


The ICVS has an overall area of approximately 6000 m2. Its technological platform consists of high standard laboratories, with state-of-the-art scientific equipments for areas such as Cell and Tissue Culture, Electrophysiology, Biosafety Level 2 and 3, Molecular Biology, Imagiology, Microscopy Imaging, Neuroanatomy/Neuroimaging, Histology, Biological Resources, Cytometry, Endoscospy as well as a fully equipped Centre for Animal Experimentation including areas for behavioural studies, experimental infections and surgical techniques.


The ICVS is organized in three interdisciplinary Research Domains: Microbiology and Infection, Neurosciences and Surgical Sciences, which comprise more than 250 researchers of different countries with complementary academic backgrounds. The biomedical, translational and clinical research results in more than100 publications per year in international top-level scientific journals.


ICVS is strategically located in the Northern region of Portugal, within a fast growing Cluster of Biomedical Science, Technology and Healthcare institutions, creating synergies in many dimensions. Among the collaborating institutions we highlight: the network of affiliated Hospitals, the INL-International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory; the Aveparkand an extensive network of national and international scientific collaborations and is involved in several networks funded by international agencies.



The ICVS fosters collaborations between its specialists at the forefront of research advances and partners from both Biomedical Industries and Healthcare Institutions, with the objective of contributing to solve questions with impact in the community and potential commercial application.
In addition, ICVS promotes the public awareness of Science and Health education within the society.