PLATINUM2024

MONELL CHEMICAL SENSES CENTER

Advancing Discovery in Taste and Smell

aka The Monell Center   |   Philadelphia, PA   |  www.monell.org

Mission

Monell’s mission is to improve health and well-being by advancing the scientific understanding of taste, smell, and related senses.

Ruling year info

1977

Executive Director & President

Dr. Benjamin P.C. Smith Ph.D.

Main address

3500 Market Street

Philadelphia, PA 19104 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

23-2020897

NTEE code info

Medical Specialty Research (H90)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Imagine a future in which physicians use hand-held odor detectors to sniff out the earliest signs of cancer with the same uncanny accuracy that dogs have for detecting bombs and narcotics. Consider the prospect of being able to "train" human taste receptors -- not just on the tongue but in the gut, pancreas and brain -- to promote healthy eating and help curb obesity. Fast forward to a day when we can replace damaged or aging smell receptors in the nose to restore our ability to fully enjoy the wonderful scent of newborns and tantalizing flavors of our favorite foods. These future scenarios are closer than you might think. This is the Monell Center, the only research institute dedicated to understanding the senses of taste and smell, and connecting these fundamental senses to improved nutrition, disease detection and other translations of our basic science to provide a healthier, safer, better tomorrow.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Basic Science at Monell

Mission
Monell’s mission is to improve health and well-being by advancing the scientific understanding of taste, smell, and related senses.

Core Values
Commitment: We view basic science as the foundation of discovery

An integral part of Monell’s mission involves preparation of the next generation of scientists. Monell’s strong post-doctoral program attracts talented young scientists from a wide range of disciplines. Approximately 20 post-doctoral fellows are trained at the Center each year. Monell fellows go on to contribute to scientific advancement through work in academia, industry and government.

The Center’s highly successful Monell Science Apprenticeship Program (MSAP) for high school and college students is now entering its 34th year. The program aims to stimulate interest in STEM careers among demographic groups underrepresented in science, including females, racial and ethnic minorities, and the economically disadvantaged. MSAP enrolls approximately 25 students each summer.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Adolescents

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of clients reporting increased knowledge after educational programs

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adolescents, Young adults

Related Program

Basic Science at Monell

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

Based on Monell Science Apprenticeship Program exit surveys

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

The Monell Center has 4 strategic aims:

1. Improve Nutritional Health
2. Diagnose and Treat Diseases
3. Attach the Loss of Smell and Taste
4. Digitize Smells and Tastes

To unravel these complex interwoven processes, the Center is structured to encourage collaboration among scientists from diverse backgrounds. The Monell Center has no departmental organization; offices and laboratories are not segregated by discipline; and most importantly, the staff is imbued with the ideal of multidisciplinary interaction.

Among the Center's unique areas of expertise:

• Human sensory testing across the lifespan using innovative psychophysical and physiological techniques
• Integration of human sensory perception with molecular biology
• Pioneering techniques to biopsy and maintain living human taste and smell receptor cells for human species-specific study
• Experiential, physiological and genetic determinants of flavor and food preferences across the lifespan
• Stem cell biology to regenerate dysfunctional taste and smell receptor cells
• Focus on taste and smell receptors in extra-oral sites and their relation to health
• Odor communication in health and disease

The Center's research advances fundamental knowledge of taste and smell. In the process, Monell's scientific findings also uncover solutions to pressing problems related to health, the environment and more. Monell scientists helped to identify the sweet taste receptor, a breakthrough that paved the way to current inquiries into how to stimulate, manipulate, enhance, inhibit, and create synergy of sweet taste. In other areas, ongoing Monell research is:

• Demonstrating the key role of prenatal and early postnatal experience in shaping life-long taste, odor, and flavor preferences.
• Utilizing advanced stem cell biology techniques to regenerate smell receptors and develop treatments for smell loss.
• Analyzing the genetics of taste to identify the salt taste receptor, knowledge needed to develop effective salt enhancers and modifiers and help reduce sodium consumption.
• Identifying how body odors can be used for the early non-invasive detection and diagnosis of cancer, infectious disease, and tissue damage.
• Determining how genetic variation in taste and smell receptors influences flavor perception, food choice, nutrition, and health across the lifespan.
• Pioneering studies of odortypes, genetically-determined olfactory markers of individual identity.
• Revealing how short and long-term exposure to air-borne chemicals alter sensory perception and health.
• Probing the mechanism and function of taste and smell receptors located outside the mouth and nose.

Financials

MONELL CHEMICAL SENSES CENTER
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

MONELL CHEMICAL SENSES CENTER

Board of directors
as of 02/05/2024
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Dr. David Macnair

Independent Consultant

Richard Berkman

Ambrose Monell

The Ambrose Monell Foundation & the G. Under Vetlesen Foundation

Maurizio Morello

Fulton Vittoria LLP

David MacNair

Stephen Manheimer

Kerry

Kevin Foskett

Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania

Paul Herzan

Vice President and Director, Lily Auchincloss Foundation

Angela Nwaneri

First Cardiology Consultants/FCC Healthcare

Judy Wellington

Nancy Rawson

Monell Chemical Senses Center

Susan de Mars

US Pharmacopeia

Banjamin P.C. Smith

Monell Chemical Senses Center

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Not applicable
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 2/5/2024

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 01/18/2022

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Policies and processes
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.