Newswise — Robert F. Margolskee, M.D., Ph.D., a world-renowned expert on the molecular mechanisms of taste, has joined the faculty of the Monell Center.
Dr. Margolskee comes to Monell from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York.
A pioneer in the use of molecular biology to study mechanisms of taste transduction, Dr. Margolskee has been responsible for major advances in the field of taste biology. His seminal discovery of gustducin, a so-called "G-protein" expressed in taste cells, ultimately led to a comprehensive understanding of taste cell transduction, the intracellular signaling pathway that enables taste receptor cells to translate chemical information from a taste stimulus into an electrical signal that can be processed by the nervous system.
More recently, Dr. Margolskee has extended his knowledge of taste detection to probe the mechanisms and functions of taste receptors located in the gastrointestinal tract. At Monell, Dr. Margolskee and his team will collaborate with the Center's multidisciplinary faculty to advance understanding of these nutrient-sensing gut taste receptors, which most likely play an important role in regulating food intake, nutrition, metabolism, and hormone release.
"The addition of Dr. Margolskee to our scientific staff strengthens Monell's increasing focus on the fundamental contributions of taste and smell to human health and well-being," said Gary K. Beauchamp, PhD, Director and President of the Monell Center.
"Monell has the largest collection of chemosensory scientists in the world and is an incredible place for collaboration," said Margolskee. "I cannot think of a better place to do the kind of work I want to be doing, which focuses on how the taste system is relevant in other organ systems and the endocrine system. This extends to studies focused on the contribution of taste to the hormonal regulation of how we digest and metabolize food, and identifying any involvement in diabetes and obesity."
Dr. Margolskee received his undergraduate degree from Harvard University and his M.D. - Ph.D. in Molecular Genetics from Johns Hopkins University. While at Mount Sinai, he was an Associate Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute from 1997 to 2005. He is an author on over 100 peer-reviewed articles, which have been published in such prestigious journals as Nature, Science, Nature Neuroscience, and Scientific American.
The Monell Chemical Senses Center is an independent nonprofit basic research institute based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Monell advances scientific understanding of the mechanisms and functions of taste and smell to benefit human health and well-being. Using an interdisciplinary approach, scientists collaborate in the programmatic areas of sensation and perception; neuroscience and molecular biology; environmental and occupational health; nutrition and appetite; health and well-being; development, aging and regeneration; and chemical ecology and communication. For more information about Monell, visit www.monell.org.