Newswise — PHILADELPHIA (July 22, 2019) — Nancy E. Rawson, PhD, has been appointed Vice President of the Monell Chemical Senses Center, effective immediately. A highly accomplished scientist and leader who has served as Associate Director of the Center since 2016, Rawson will work closely with Monell Director and President Robert Margolskee, MD, PhD, on implementing a new strategic plan to guide Monell’s future.

“Nancy’s value to the Monell Center cannot be underestimated,” said Margolskee. “This promotion recognizes her outstanding performance in leading Monell’s pioneering corporate partnership program while also spearheading the development of our new strategic plan.”

Rawson comments, “This is an exciting time for Monell, with the remarkable work our scientists are doing more relevant than ever before. Our strategic plan frames Monell’s basic research toward the many areas where our discoveries can positively impact human health and quality of life.”

Rawson’s broad-based experience spans academia and the food, flavor and nutritional products industries. After earning a master’s degree in nutrition, she earned her doctorate in biology from the University of Pennsylvania in 1993. After receiving postdoctoral training at Monell she joined the Center’s faculty, where she remained for the next 15 years. During this time, Rawson’s 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. Later, she served as Senior Director of Basic Research and Innovation at AFB International, a global pet food ingredient company. She returned to Monell in 2016 to assume oversight of Monell’s long-standing corporate partnership program, with a focus on helping Monell’s industry partners translate the Center’s basic research into beneficial real-world applications.

“In her new role as the Center’s Vice President, Nancy’s impressive combination of leadership experience, strong administrative skills, and scientific prowess will help guide Monell’s growth as we move into our next 50 years,” said Monell Board Chair David Macnair, PhD.

As Monell’s Vice President, Rawson looks forward to helping to steward the Center’s future. She comments, “Our research goals are ambitious, so we will need to focus carefully, partner strategically, and reach out to new stakeholders across many different areas of science and society. Building bridges is one of my passions and it is gratifying to be serving in a role where my efforts can help make Monell’s future even more impactful.”

The Monell Chemical Senses Center is an independent nonprofit basic research institute based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Founded in 1968, Monell science improves human health and well-being through the understanding of taste, smell, and the related senses. 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


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