Anosmia is the clinical term for the inability to smell. Few people appreciate the range of information provided by the sense of smell. Even fewer think about what would happen if that source of information disappeared. Yet olfaction is a vulnerable sense, and smell disorders and loss are common.
Launched in 2014, the Monell Anosmia Project sought out to better understand the underlying causes of anosmia and develop effective treatments. On Anosmia Awareness Day 2021 we renamed the initiative, the Monell Smell for Life Project. This new name is a fundamental shift in the approach to our research. We seek to better understand the mechanisms of the sense of smell, elevate the role of smell in our lives and throughout our lifespan, and elucidate the pathway to treatments for smell loss. By doing this, we become more forward-looking—with a clear vision of a future where smell is accessible to all.
Smell for Life is made possible primarily through contributions from individuals who believe as we do that research is the antidote to the challenges of smell loss. Donations of all sizes are invested immediately in scientists who are fighting for the millions of people worldwide living without smell.
Most recently, Monell has become involved globally in the chemosensory aspects of COVID-19 research, including sudden smell loss as a primary symptom. Please visit our COVID-19 Resources page to learn more about our efforts during this worldwide health crisis and read more about our current anosmia research in general.
Looking ahead, in June 2020, Monell, in partnership with the University of Florida Center for Smell and Taste and the Rocky Mountain Taste and Smell Center at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, published a meeting summary based on a 2018 ground-breaking symposium: “Identifying Treatments for Taste and Smell Disorders.” Working with patients, researchers identified three important areas to pursue: patient advocacy, clinical measures of taste and smell, and new avenues of cellular and therapeutic approaches.
To this end, Monell partners with many like-minded organizations to further awareness about smell loss and advocate for more research, including the Smell and Taste Association of North America (STANA), AbScent, Fifth Sense, Anosmia Awareness, and the Global Consortium on Chemosensory Research.
Gifts of all sizes and from all places have a cumulative effect on our research. Our anosmia research budget is dependent almost entirely on you — our individual donors. When you become a donor, we increase our research output. We have so much more that we want to accomplish. Please help us get there!
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