The Monell Chemical Senses Center has announced that its current director and president, Robert F. Margolskee, M.D., Ph.D., will be stepping down as director by June 30th, 2022, after which he will remain as a part-time faculty member to complete several research projects in progress.
The Monell board of directors will oversee the process to choose Margolskee’s successor, which will involve a full, external search to continue a legacy of strong leadership.
Margolskee became the Center’s third director in 2014, having joined its faculty in 2009. His seminal discovery in 1992 of gustducin, a signaling protein expressed selectively in taste cells, launched molecular biological approaches to the study of taste and provided the critical knowledge to explain how taste receptors detect sweet, bitter and savory taste molecules.
As director, Margolskee led Monell through a successful 50th-anniversary fundraising campaign; coalesced research aims to concentrate on translating basic science to clinical applications; recruited outstanding faculty and administrators; and most recently, guided research and day-to-day operations through the pandemic.
Monell board chair, David Macnair, Ph.D. said, “Monell faculty, staff, board members and our partners in academia and business are fortunate to have worked with Bob to advance Monell and its contributions to science. Throughout Bob’s tenure, Monell has maintained and grown its reputation as a global leader in taste and smell research and how these senses are integral to human health.”
Margolskee said, “It has been my honor and pleasure to serve as Monell’s Director for the past six-plus years. I am proud to have guided the Center through some highly challenging times, including the current COVID-19 pandemic.”