Palo Alto Institute


The Palo Alto Institute is a private foundation, think tank, and creativity laboratory dedicated to the pursuit and promotion of unconventional truths through research, education and entertainment. Founded in 2005 by Dr. Joon Yun and like-minded colleagues and now headed by Conrad Yun, the Palo Alto Institute collaborates with innovative thinkers who take pleasure in creative and intellectual exploration and action, and benefits from being located in the heart of Silicon Valley and the intellectual hub at Stanford University.  We have accumulated a wealth of experience in over the last 10+ years in formulating out-of-the-box hypotheses, discussing them with thought leaders, and conducting original research projects as well as outreach to educate the community about new ways to think about some of the most important topics we face as a society in the fields of science, art and health.  Please contact us at the email address below if you are interested in engaging us or collaborating with us in research or community outreach.

Selected Current and Past Sponsored Projects

National Institute of Nutrition Initiative

The Palo Alto Institute is sponsoring the National Institute of Nutrition Initiative, a grassroots effort to explore the merits of establishing a National Institute of Nutrition within the US Department of Health and Human Services.  The effort’s aim is to explore ways to increase scientific funding for nutritional research given the fact that nutrition and food have a significant impact on the health, economic well-being, environmental sustainability and national security of our country. The initiative is led by some of the leading scientists, regulators and thinkers in the field.


The Palo Alto Institute believes prizes are a great mechanism to pull forward innovative thinking in a field while at the same time engendering public participation and enthusiasm.  The Palo Alto Institute is sponsoring the Copernicus Prize, an essay/video contest intended to spark original, revolutionary thinking to challenge prevailing models in every discipline of the sciences and the humanities. The Palo Alto Institute is sponsoring a variety of other prizes to promote creative and intellectual exploration as well as catalyze positive social change.

Aging and longevity

The Palo Alto Institute sponsored the Palo Alto Longevity Prize and supports innovations in the field of aging and longevity research. Solving the diseases of aging by offering a prize, the Palo Alto Longevity Prize, which is a $1M life sciences competition, challenges teams from all over the world to “hack the code” that regulates our health and life span. The Palo Alto Institute is sponsoring a variety of other initiatives in the field of aging and longevity, such as supporting the National Academy of Medicine in its leadership in the field.

Childhood diseases and allergies

The Palo Alto Institute is supporting research and innovation in the area of childhood diseases and food allergies, including the impactful work of FARE (Food Allergy Research & Education) and research led by the world class team headed by Dr. Kari Nadeau at Stanford School of Medicine. The research is designed to advance our understanding of the role of autonomic dysfuction in life-threatening allergic reactions to certain kinds of food.  More information about the ground-breaking research in the field of food allergies can be found at


Joon Yun, Founder

Conrad Yun, Executive Director

Jennifer Alden, Director of Media & Communications