Monell Center joins the European Sensory Network

“We are pleased to welcome the Monell Center as a new member of the European Sensory Network”, says ESN chair Claire Sulmont-Rossé.

8 Sept 2016 - The Monell Center is the world’s leading research center on smell and taste, and is situated in Philadelphia, USA. They are known for their ground-breaking research and such world-class scientists as Gary Beauchamp, Danielle Reed and Julie Mennella. Monell’s Director of Institutional Advancement Carol Christensen emphasizes, “ESN and Monell are very compatible because we both share the same mission, we want to understand human sensory behavior”.

Listen to a two-minute interview with Carol Christensen on why Monell became a member of ESN.


Like ESN, the Monell Center has a long tradition of providing a bridge between industry and academic research. Robert Margolskee, Director of the Monell Center explains: “The European Sensory Network is focused on developing good methods for measuring sensory and consumer behavior, with an emphasis on how products elicit liking. Monell contributes to this objective by providing input regarding the biological mechanisms underlying human sensory behavior.”

With its new member ESN is picking up on a major point that sensory experts have emphasized in the last years: in order to make advances in sensory science it is necessary to engage with neuroscience and genetics. Monell has a strong focus on the fundamental biology behind taste and smell. For example, just recently the research team of Robert Margolskee discovered an important cellular mechanism underlying sweet taste detection, a basic biological finding that  could help industry  make a sucrose substitute that tastes good but has no calories (

Riette de Kock, head of research at ESN states: “Monell expands the research opportunities for ESN; in return ESN offers Monell an opportunity to collaborate with European based industry and research organisations. We are glad to meet and collaborate on a regular basis.”


About Monell

The Monell Center is the world’s only independent, non-profit scientific institute dedicated to interdisciplinary basic research on the senses of taste and smell. At Monell, world-class scientists are unlocking some of the most fundamental mysteries of what makes us human. How do we use our chemical senses to communicate? What are the cellular underpinnings of taste and smell that contribute to the difference between lifelong health and chronic disease? How do our chemical senses shape human nutrition? Which genes are responsible?  Monell’s long-standing interdisciplinary model was itself a scientific experiment when the Center was founded more than 45 years ago. Today, Monell remains a nexus where outstanding scientists from many disciplines work together to focus on a common objective: understanding the mechanisms and functions of taste and smell and how these senses relate to human health. The Center’s integrated research approaches range from basic molecular biology to behavioral neuroscience, from cellular biology to comparative ecology, from analytical chemistry to clinical work with human patients. Monell scientists are at the forefront of discovery, exploring the senses of taste and smell in order to answer pressing questions about health, behavior, and the environment that we could not even foresee a decade ago.