Combining the creation and transfer of knowledge

The Department of Medicine and Life Sciences (MELIS, former DCEXS) was founded in 1998 by the Pompeu Fabra University (UPF), a young and public research university born in 1990 and called to become one of the leading European universities. Within this framework, the great challenge of MELIS has been to successfully develop a project where research and teaching are firmly integrated. Together with the UPF’s Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, MELIS is responsible for three undergraduate degrees: Human Biology (since 1998), Medicine (2008), Biomedical Engineering (2011) and Bioinformatics (2016). The Department also runs Master’s degrees in the fields of biomedicine, bioinformatics, pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, clinical laboratory sciences, and public health, and a PhD Programme in Biomedicine fully taught in English and recognised by independent agencies. Scientific research is perceived by the students, both undergraduates and postgraduates, as an essential tool in their studies.

MELIS is strategically located within the Barcelona’s Biomedical Research Park (PRBB), a large scientific infrastructure that gathers together several public research centres and is physically connected to Barcelona’s Hospital del Mar, thus being one of the largest hubs of biomedical research in southern Europe.

This close contact has allowed MELIS to establish strategic alliances with surrounding research institutes affiliated with UPF such as the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal), the Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG), the Hospital del Mar – Medical Research Institute (IMIM), and the EMBL-Barcelona. Outside the PRBB, MELIS has established an alliance with the Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology (BIST, which integrates top research centres of Barcelona) for coordinating a joint pioneering Master’s degree in Multidisciplinary Research in Experimental Sciences. Over the last few years, MELIS has achieved a remarkable presence in different research fields and growing research output and impact.

Remarkably, MELIS obtained its second María de Maeztu award in 2018 (“Unidad de Excelencia María de Maeztu”, funded by the MINECO, reference CEX2018-000792-M) which has allowed the continuation of the MELIS strategic research programme, which aims at promoting the department’s output including scientific exploratory and technology transfer projects and also training, outreach, and gender balance activities.

MELIS team


David Comas


Berta Alsina
Robert Castelo
Jordi García Ojalvo


Isabel Fariñas (Universitat de València)


Cosima Tatiana Baldari (Università di Siena)
José Luis López Barneo (Universidad de Sevilla)
Alfonso Valencia (BSC)
Martí Aldea (Molecular Biology Institute of Barcelona)
Alexander Aulehla (EMBL)
David Posada (Universidad de Vigo)
Jody Rosenblatt (King’s College London)

Campus director:

Fina Lorente

Unit managers:

Rosa Olivé
Carme Casanovas
Mar Garreta
Sonia Lago
David Moreso
Montse Morillas
Jordi Solà


Anna Almor, Alejandro Aparici, Xavier Ardite, Josep Aymamí, Marta Bonet, Gemma Burballa, Núria Cabrera, Mònica Calor, Mar Cama, Neus Cartes, Mari Carmen Cebrián, Pilar Cerro, Margarida Codinachs, Helena Coll-Vinent, Jairo Consol, Alba Daroca, Mar de Haro, Ana Dieste, Cinta Díez, Gemma Esparó, Elena Espinet, Txema Farrona, Susana Fernández, Rubén Fernández, Lluís Flores, Sonia Gandul, Jordi Garriga, Josep Gibert, Guillem Giralt, Robert González, Cintia Gutiérrez, Mireia Llimós, Regina López, Núria Margalef, Guillem Martí, Rosa Martínez, Marta Mas, Tamara Monras, Cristina Monter, Neus Morgui, Mar Morral, Jordi Palau, Maria Parras, Rafa Puente, Natàlia Ras, Anna Regot, Lídia Reichenberg, Anna Rivas, Joana Soria, Marta Torras, Xavier Vallvé, Pedro Vázquez, Carla Vega, Ramon Vendrell, Alexis Vicioso, Carla Vilardebo, Susana Vilella, Rosa Violeta