Dr. Navarro has a Bachelor and a PhD degree in Chemistry from the University of Valencia. He studied Biochemistry where he became interested in the processes that occur in the mitochondria and how their dysfunction triggers cause neurological and neuromuscular diseases. His scientific career and his research focus on the use of Drosophila melanogaster as a translational biomedical tool to study and unveil the molecular mechanisms underpinning rare neurodegenerative diseases such as Friedreich’s Ataxia (AF) or Hereditary Spastic Paraparesis (HSP7). Recently, Dr. Navarro has been awarded with the I3 certification from the Incentive Program for the Incorporation and Intensification of Research Activity of the Ministry of Science and Innovation.
After completing his doctorate, Juan Antonio started a postdoctoral position at the University of Regensburg in the chair of Professor Dr. Stephan Schneuwly. During this period, he combined over a decade his research activity with his role as Coordinator of the Master of International Excellence in Neurosciences carried out at the University of Regensburg.
In August 2020, he joined INCLIVA and the Group of Cellular and Organic Pathophysiology of Oxidative Stress led by Professor Federico V. Pallardó as Senior Postdoctoral Researcher thanks to the GenT Program funded by the Conselleria de Sanidad Universal y Salud Pública from Generalitat Valenciana.
Currently his lines of research are focused on deciphering the mechanism of programmed death followed by frataxin-deficient cells in FA patients. His hypothesis centers on a new form of cell death called ferroptosis. In addition, together with Dr. Filippo M. Santorelli from the University of Pisa he is trying to establish a translational research and diagnostic platform in the field of Drosophila-based hereditary spastic paraparesis. Finally, very recently, he has obtained funding from the Insituto de Salud Carlos III to start a new research project based on the repurposing of an old drug as a treatment for Neurodegenerative diseases based on PolyGlutamine expansions.