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About the Palavicini Lab

The Palavicini Lab is an academic laboratory established in 2023 located at the Sam and Ann Barshop Institute for Longevity and Aging Studies. We conduct basic and applied biomedical research and specialize in Alzheimer's disease, the biology of aging, and metabolism. Our research projects are funded by multiple grants and we publish frequently in scientific journals. We also make occasional appearances in the media to discuss our findings and their implications.

Our lab is dedicated to advancing scientific knowledge and discovering new breakthroughs in the fields of aging, Alzheimer's disease, and lipid metabolism. We are passionate about what we do and strive to make a positive impact on society. Our team is made up of highly skilled and motivated researchers who work together to achieve our goals.

About Me

Juan Pablo "JP" Palavicini

Principal Investigator

Dr. Palavicini received his BS in Biotechnology Engineering at the Costa Rican Institute of Technology. After spending a year in the Molecular Biology Master's program at the University of Costa Rica in the laboratory of Dr. Gustavo Gutiérrez Espeleta, he transferred to a dual PhD program in Biochemistry and Neurobiology at the University of Puerto Rico, where he was mentored by Dr. Joshua Rosenthal.

Juan Pablo Palavicini, PhD

For his postdoctoral studies Dr. Palavicini studied Alzheimer's pathogenesis using cell culture and mouse models, first at Torrey Pines Institute for Molecular Studies in the laboratory of Dr. Madepalli Lakshmana, and later at Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute in the laboratory of Dr. Xianlin Han where he trained in lipid metabolism.

Dr. Palavicini was born and raised in Costa Rica, a pioneer in the protection of peace and nature. JP's father, Dr. Carlos Palavicini, is an accomplished orthopedic surgeon who served as Saprissa and Costa Rica's National  football team physician and at the FIFA Medical Committee. JP's mother, Dr. Giselle Chaverri, also a physician, although retired still lives to serve as a devout Catholic. JP's oldest brother, Dr. Carlos Palavicini also an orthopedic surgeon, lives in Sweden. JP's little sister, Fiorella, an elementary teacher, lives in Costa Rica.

During his beloved time at "el TEC" in Cartago, JP fall in love with his wife Cinthia. Their family grew up as soon as they started dating 2007, first with Memphis, a beautiful caramel persian cat that lived a long multi-city life (2007-2023). In 2011, their first human baby, Mia, was born in Orlando, Florida. Princess Mia literally grew up in Disney World. More recently, the Palavicini family rescued a black baby homeless cat, Matthew Mateo, a native San Antonian who has been causing chaos ever since.



Doctor of Science (PhD)
University of Puerto Rico


Master of Science (MS)
University of Costa Rica


Bachelor of Science (BS)
Costa Rican Institute of Technology

I graduated summa cum laude from a dual PhD program in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry at the University of Puerto Rico in the lab of Dr. Joshua Rosenthal, where I studied RNA editing in cephalopods.

I joined the Molecular Biology MS program at the University of Costa Rica in the lab of Dr. Gustavo Gutiérrez Espeleta, current chancellor. I was involved in a non-human primate population genetics study.

I graduated summa cum laude (top 3 admission score and top 3 GPA) from Costa Rican Institute of Technology with a BS in Biotechnology Engineering. I was lab assistant for the Genetics and Organic Chemistry classes and worked as a lab assistant culturing orchids.

About our logo

Our logo embodies the major research interests of the Palavicini lab, including (i) neurodegeneration in the context of Alzheimer's disease and brain aging in the form of an interconnected brain, (ii) lipid metabolism in the form of oil droplets, and (iii) our most valuable asset, our ideas and creativity in the shape of a bright light bulb.

Within our logo, you will also find the Costa Rican flag embedded on the light bulb base socket honoring the country where Dr. Palavicini was born and raised (personally and scientifically as he got his BS in Biotechnology Engineering there).

In addition, our logo has a tribute to the Pallavicini family coat of arms. The railroad-like emblem mark symbolizes  brain surgery stitches holding together both cerebral hemispheres representing the manipulations we do in the lab to restore brain function in the context of neurodegeneration. Note how the main logo colors match those of the Pallavicini of Genoa, an ancient Italian noble family.

One last detail, the first "i" within the word Palavicini (in yellow) happens to be a phospholipid (a major component of cellular membranes). If you noticed that such phospholipid contains two palmitates, i.e. two saturated fatty acyl chains with 16 carbons each, perhaps you should consider joining our lab or collaborating with us!

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