The Monell Board has selected former Monell postdoctoral fellow Benjamin P.C. Smith, Ph.D., to be the Center’s fourth permanent director. Nancy Rawson, Ph.D., will remain acting director until his arrival later this year.
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Smith has an extensive track record of building science programs and collaboration across academia, industry, and government. He is the director of the Singapore Future Ready Food Safety Hub, director of the Singapore-based A*STAR Innovations in Food & Chemical Safety Program, and an adjunct associate Professor of Food Toxicology and Risk Assessment at Nanyang Technological University. Working at the intersection of taste, smell, and nutrition for most of his career, his resume includes senior positions at Firmenich.
Monell Board of Directors chair David Macnair, Ph.D., shared, "Ben [Smith]’s sheer breadth of research and leadership roles contribute to his success at building and fostering innovative scientific partnerships. This extensive set of skills uniquely positions him to lead Monell through a stage of expansive growth. He will take the helm at a time when the world is experiencing exciting advances in sustainable food production, new understanding of smell loss and disease, and the possibility of using AI to detect and create odors—making Monell’s interdisciplinary research in taste, smell, and related senses more important than ever. Throughout his career he has shown an incredible ability to visualize how excellent basic science can lead to important strategies to improve many aspects of human health."
Macnair added, "I also give my continued thanks to Nancy for her excellent leadership in guiding Monell through this interim phase with wisdom and vision. Monell staff and faculty have also contributed in a myriad of ways to help make this era of transition run as smoothly as possible."