The Monell Chemical Senses Center has received a grant of up to $26 million from its founding benefactor, The Ambrose Monell Foundation. The donation is the largest the center has received since its founding.
This investment will support the center’s plan to ensure the center’s primacy in chemosensory research for decades to come by expanding and diversifying its expertise through recruiting and nurturing its next generation of scientists and enhancing its physical infrastructure and research environment to advance human health and wellbeing. The funds would be disbursed in grants of $5.2 million per year over five years with each disbursement being conditioned upon the achievement of certain milestones.
Monell’s plan maps out four forward-looking research initiatives: improve nutritional health by expanding research on diet-related disorders through the emerging field of sensory nutrition; develop new ways to detect changes in body chemicals that signal disease and enlist chemosensory cells to fight pathogens; restore and prevent loss of smell and taste using regenerative medicine and sensory training; and digitize taste and smell, delivering odors, tastes and sensations instantaneously to individuals around the world using new technology and devices. The Monell Foundation’s latest major investment will support advances in all of these areas.
Robert Margolskee, MD, Ph.D., Monell director, said, “This grant is an extraordinary opportunity for decades to come to advance our legacy of superlative chemosensory discovery into meaningful breakthroughs in improving public health. Building on our long history of fundamental basic and translational science, the Monell Center is accelerating that vision in the midst of historic times.”
David Macnair, Ph.D., chair of the Monell Center Board of Directors, said, “From its inaugural grant 50-plus years ago to today, the foundation has been a visionary partner in driving Monell’s mission to improve global health by advancing the scientific understanding of taste and smell to newly appreciated relevance.”
Ambrose K. Monell, president and director of the Monell Foundation, said, “In retrospect, one of our foundation’s boldest decisions was to award a grant back in 1967 to establish the Monell Chemical Senses Center. With this grant, we intend to plant the seeds for the center’s success for the next 55 years and we await the center’s continued contributions to the world of sensory science.”