Since our founding more than 50 years ago, we have established ourselves as the globally recognized leader in advancing the science of taste and smell and fostering the use of this knowledge to improve public health. Our research on these essential, but often neglected senses, has led to policy change and real-world improvements for consumers. By advancing scientific understanding of taste, smell, and related senses, we continue to accomplish our mission to improve human well-being.
The COVID-19 pandemic is a once in one-hundred-year worldwide crisis. As chemosensory researchers, we have come to think of 2020 as “The Year of Smell and Taste.” In the early days of the pandemic, as healthcare staff worked heroically beyond their limits caring for the sick, as society retreated into the safety of quarantine, and as the economy shut down, we began to hear evidence of smell and taste loss in patients with COVID-19. Intrigued, energized, and informed by unique expertise backed by decades of ground-breaking discoveries, we quickly mobilized with our colleagues to understand the connection between this novel coronavirus and loss of smell and taste.
This spring, Monell researchers were in the vanguard of the Global Consortium for Chemosensory Research, a consortium of chemosensory researchers from over 50 nations to advance the study of COVID-19.
Even while pausing in-person human subject research to protect the public and staff, we turned to web-based studies to continue our science. We now think of our work in a pragmatic new light. For example, developing a rapid, inexpensive COVID-19 test based on smell loss could lead to safely opening schools and businesses. And re-framing basic findings about immunity in wildlife will inform future strategies for monitoring animal populations for infectious disease. As an institution, we are also proud that during the economic challenges of the pandemic, we have not furloughed any employees or reduced salaries.
Monell’s global impact on improving public health has never been more apparent – or more important – than at this moment in history.
Thank you for being part of our enterprise to create a healthier planet for everyone. With your generous support and partnership, we are Making Sense of the World. We wish you, your loved ones, friends, and colleagues in our global community continued good health and prosperity.