Newswise — PHILADELPHIA (June 20, 2016) -- Nancy E. Rawson, PhD has been appointed Associate Director of the Monell Center, effective immediately. Rawson is a highly accomplished scientist and leader with broad-based experience that spans academia and the food, flavor and nutritional products industries. She will work closely with Center Director Robert Margolskee, MD, PhD, on fundraising and strategic planning to advance Monell’s growth.

“Nancy’s training and expertise in nutrition, physiology and molecular biology will be a great asset to Monell as we position the Center to become the leading institute in chemosensory-led nutritional research,” said Margolskee.

Rawson comments, “I look forward to working with the Monell team to develop and refine the strategic vision for our upcoming 50th anniversary fundraising campaign. Part of our goal is to expand into new areas, in particular focused on the intersection of chemosensory science with nutrition and metabolism. My background bridges all these fields, so I see this as a wonderful opportunity to help give Monell an even stronger presence in this important and rapidly growing field of endeavor.”

“Nancy brings scientific prowess, a broad base of experience and strong administrative skills, all of which will be valuable resources for the Center,” said Monell Board Chair Dwight Riskey, PhD.

Rawson, who has a master’s degree in nutrition, received her doctorate in biology from the University of Pennsylvania in 1993. She conducted her dissertation research and received postdoctoral training at Monell and then was on the Center’s faculty for the next 15 years. During this time, her research focused on nutritional modulation of olfactory function, neuronal development and regeneration, and chemosensory cell biology.

In 2008, Rawson left Monell to become chief scientific officer at a nutrigenomics start-up. Most recently, she served as Senior Director of Basic Research and Innovation at AFB International, a global pet food ingredient company. In her new position at Monell, Rawson will assume oversight of Monell’s long-standing corporate partnership program and looks forward to bringing her expertise and experience to help Monell’s partners translate the Center’s research into beneficial real-world applications.

“My position here really is what my entire career has been leading to – being able to advance basic science while directly connecting the new knowledge to problems faced by our industry partners,” notes Rawson. “It’s a combination of treasure-hunt, putting together puzzles and finding the missing pieces, and seeing connections others have missed that can improve our sponsors’ ability to develop new therapies, products, or services to advance health and wellness.”

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