J.M. Palacios graduated in Chemistry at the University of Zaragoza, Spain (1971), and earned a Ph.D. degree in Chemistry from the Autonomous University of Barcelona (1976). He received postdoctoral training at the Neurobiology Unit of the French Health and Medical Research Institute (INSERM) at the Sainte Anne Hospital in Paris working with Dr J.C. Schwartz on brain histamine receptors and later on at the Departments of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics and Neuroscience of the Johns Hopkins Universtity, School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland. In 1987-1988 he spent a sabbatical leave at the Department of Physiology, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC, USA with Robert Lefkowitz, Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2012, working on the molecular biology of neurotransmitter receptors.
From 1981-1991 he was Head of Laboratory, Project Leader and Member of the Steering Committee of the Preclinical Research, Central Nervous System of Sandoz A.G. (now Novartis)
From September 1991 until December 2005, Dr Palacios served as Executive Director of Research and Development of Almirall.