The Foundation

A reference in the support of scientific research

The BIAL Foundation was created in 1994 by the BIAL pharmaceutical company together with the Council of Rectors of Portuguese Universities. BIAL Foundation’s mission is to foster the scientific study of the human being from both the physical and spiritual perspectives. It is managed by representatives from both institutions.

Along the years the BIAL Foundation has developed an important relationship with the scientific community, first in Portugal and then worldwide. Today it is a renowned institution, particularly in the Neuroscience and Parapsychology research, which aims to stimulate new researches that benefit people, providing more health and enabling us to reach new levels of knowledge.


Among its activities the BIAL Foundation manages the Prémio BIAL de Medicina Clínica, created in 1984, which is focused on the recognition and enhancement of basic and clinical research. Over 20 editions it has distinguished 108 written works of major impact on medicine and has become acknowledged as a prestigious prize in the Health field. In 2018, the BIAL Foundation created the BIAL Award in Biomedicine, in order to extend its scope of activity and to recognize the most outstanding and relevant discoveries that have been made in the broad biomedical field. This prize has been awarded, since 2019, every two years alternating with the Prémio BIAL de Medicina Clínica. In 2020, to honour the memory of the physician and great immunologist Maria de Sousa, the Portuguese Medical Association and the BIAL Foundation decided to promote, in partnership, the Maria de Sousa Award, to support young Portuguese researchers, up to the age of 35, with scientific projects in the area of Health Sciences, including a mandatory internship in an international center of excellence.

Grants for Scientific Research

The BIAL Foundation also supports scientific research projects for the neurophysiological and mental study of the human being, in the areas of Psychophysiology and Parapsychology. To date the BIAL Foundation has already approved for funding 865 projects, involving 1702 researchers from 30 countries. The research funded by the BIAL Foundation in the areas of Psychophysiology and Parapsychology from 1994 to November 2023 has resulted in the publication of 2283 papers, 1874 of which in indexed journals (in Scopus or Web of Science) and 1658 in impact factor journals. Almost half of the papers were published in journals that ranked in the first quartile (Q1) in their subject area. By August 2023, 1713 papers were cited on average 25 times.


In 1996 the BIAL Foundation began to organize the Symposia entitled "Behind and Beyond the Brain", a Forum that gathers every two years world-renowned experts in neurosciences and parapsychology, as well as several researchers supported by the Foundation.

In addition, the Foundation has an online database that can be accessed by the scientific community and by the general public here.​


Classified as a non-profit institution of public utility, the BIAL Foundation includes among its patrons the Portuguese President, the Council of Rectors of Portuguese Universities and the Portuguese Medical Association.


For 2022-2025

Board of Directors

Luís Portela - Chairman
Executive Committee

Daniel Bessa
Executive Committee
Nuno Sousa
Executive Committee

Miguel Portela

Patrícia Teixeira Lopes

Fiscal Board

Júlio Pedrosa de Jesus


Nuno Amado

Ernst & Young Audit & Associados - SROC, S.A.

Here represented by Rui Vieira

Scientific Board

António Damásio, President
University of Southern California

Osborne Almeida
Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry

Mario Beauregard
University of Arizona

Fabrizio Benedetti
Università di Torino

Aviva Berkovich-Ohana
University of Haifa

Dick Bierman
University of Amsterdam

Olaf Blanke
École Politechnique Fédéralde de Lausanne (EPFL)

Jason Braithwaite
Lancaster University

Etzel Cardeña
Lund University

Maria do Carmo Fonseca
Instituto de Medicina Molecular (iMM)

James Carpenter
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Miguel Castelo-Branco
Universidade de Coimbra

Alexandre Castro-Caldas
Instituto de Ciências da Saúde - Universidade Católica Portuguesa

Axel Cleeremans
Université Libre de Bruxelles

Rui Costa
Allen Institute & Champalimaud Centre for the Unknown

Hugo Critchley
Brighton and Sussex Medical School

John Cryan
University College Cork

Rodrigo Cunha
Universidade de Coimbra

Neil Dagnall
Manchester Metropolitan University

Hanna Damásio
University of Southern California

Ronald de Kloet
Leiden University Medical Centre

Martin Dresler
Radboud University Medical Center

Michael Fanselow
University of California, Los Angeles

Peter Fenwick
King's College London

Sarah Garfinkel
University of Sussex

Rainer Goebel
Maastricht University

Bruce Greyson
University of Virginia

Nouchine Hadjikhani
Harvard Medical School

Sheena Josselyn
University of Toronto

Hasse Karlsson
University of Turku

Morten Kringelbach
University of Oxford

Stephen LaBerge
University of Stanford

Antoine Lutz
Lyon Neuroscience Research Center

Julia Mossbridge
University of San Diego & Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS)

Rui Mota Cardoso
Universidade do Porto

Craig Murray
Lancaster University

Catarina Resende Oliveira
Universidade de Coimbra

Joana Palha
Universidade do Minho

Thierry Pozzo
Université de Bourgogne

Stuart Quan
Harvard Medical School

Dean Radin
Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS)

Amir Raz
Chapman University

João Relvas
Universidade do Porto

Sidarta Ribeiro
Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte

Giuseppe Riva
Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore

Christopher A. Roe
University of Northampton

Florian Röhrbein
Technische Universität Chemnitz

Stefan Schmidt
Universitätsklinikum Freiburg

Gary Schwartz
University of Arizona

Andrea Serino
Lausanne University Hospital

Mário Simões
Universidade de Lisboa

Peter St. George-Hyslop
University of Toronto & University of Cambridge

Robert Stickgold
Harvard Medical School

Jessica Utts
University of California, Irvine

Eus Van Someren
Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience

Rufin VanRullen
Université de Toulouse

Caroline Watt
University of Edinburgh

Menno Witter
Norwegian University of Science and Technology

Robin Wooffitt
University of York

Joseph Zihl
Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München


Over the last 30 years, dozens of talented, inspiring, and visionary researchers have passed through BIAL Foundation, but they still prestige and honour the institution today. This section intends to tribute and recognize the high merit of our Ambassadors.


Ralph Adolphs


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Etzel Cardeña


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Fátima Carneiro


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Miguel Castelo-Branco


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Alexandre Castro Caldas


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Axel Cleeremans


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Teresa Coelho


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Rui Costa


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José Cunha-Vaz


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Peter Fenwick


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Teresa Paiva


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Joana Palha


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Dean Radin

Chief Scientist

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Caetano Reis e Sousa


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Chris Roe


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Stefan Schmidt


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Manuel Sobrinho Simões


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António de Sousa Pereira


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Rui Vaz


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Fundação BIAL
À Av. da Siderurgia Nacional
4745-457 Coronado (S. Romão e S. Mamede)

Tel. +351 22 9866150/00


Paula Guedes
Secretary General

Sylvie Marinho
Grants and Projects Manager


Sandra Pinto
Communication Manager

Carina Rodrigues
Awards and Symposium Manager