ICBAS was created in 1976 by a group of personalities inspired by Abel Salazar's way of thinking, and so it has always been a multidisciplinary and multiprofessional school in the field of Life Sciences.
The institute introduced a series of innovative principles which have remained until the present moment, as its motto shows: "A doctor who only studies Medicine, does not even know Medicine". Through these innovative principles, the institute dedicated itself to wide-ranging education in the Medicine, Veterinary Medicine or Aquatic Sciences fields, as well as to cooperation with different institutions in the city – namely the Santo António General Hospital – and in the promotion of specialised services to the community.
Since 2011, ICBAS is based in the modern complex dedicated to the Health and Life Sciences, located in U.Porto's Campus 1 (downtown), which it shares with Faculty of Pharmacy.
The Institute is also established in the Vairão Agricultural Campus (Vila do Conde), which is dedicated to scientific education and research in the field of veterinary sciences.