CFAH DIRECTOR – VHIO – Vall d'Hebron Institute of Oncology


Josep Tabernero

Josep Tabernero, Director of VHIO, is responsible for developing and implementing the vision of VHIO that reflects the mission and strategic objectives of the Foundation.

VHIO’s Director plays a key role in creating a nurturing research environment that encourages creativity and  collaboration among scientists from different disciplines and organizations. He also promotes productive interactions among investigators, other national and international Institutes and hospitals, trustees, philanthropic foundations, industry  and the broader research community.



Josep Tabernero holds MD and PhD degrees from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain. He is currently Head of the Medical Oncology Department at the Vall d’Hebron Barcelona Hospital Campus, Director of the Vall d’Hebron Institute of Oncology (VHIO), and leads the Research Innovation of Catalonian Cancer Centers Network.

He also directs VHIO´s Gastrointestinal and Endocrine Tumors Group (PI: Teresa Macarulla), the Research Unit for Molecular Therapy of Cancer (UITM) – “la Caixa” with Elena Garralda, and is Principal Investigator of several Phase I pharmacodynamic studies and translational projects with molecular targeted therapies, with particular emphasis on EGFR-family inhibitors and IGFR-PI3K-Akt-mTOR pathway inhibitors, as well as phase II and III studies with novel chemotherapeutics.

Based on the idea that each tumor has an independent genetic identity, his group aims at potentiating molecular therapies targeting specific oncoproteins and accelerating more effective personalized cancer medicines for patients displaying genetic lesions or pathway disregulation. One of his team’s main objectives is to establish novel predictive markers of response to anti-cancer therapies and identify markers of primary resistance (de novo) and secondary treatment.

At preclinical level, in collaboration with VHIO’s cancer researchers and physician-scientists, he develops new xenograft models with explant tumors from patients (“xenopatients”) in mice in order to mimic the patient’s disease and study tumor development in optimal research models. He also leads research into the study of circulating biomarkers (detection and genotyping of circulating free DNA), and is dedicated to advancing the immuno-oncology field through a large portfolio of trials with some of the most promising targets in immune checkpoints and cytokines. By paring immune therapeutics with oncogenomics, his team seeks to render anti-cancer therapies more precise.

Josep serves on the Editorial Boards of various top tier journals including Annals of Oncology, ESMO Open, Cancer Discovery and Clinical Cancer Research. He has (co) authored approximately 350 peer-reviewed papers. He is currently President (2018 – 2019) of the European Society for Medical Oncology´s (ESMO), and also serves as member of its Executive Board. He is also member of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), and has been appointed as member of several Educational and Scientific Committees of ESMO, ECCO, ASCO, AACR, AACR/NCI/EORTC, ASCO Gastrointestinal, and WCGIC meetings.