Executive Director

Benjamin P.C. Smith, PhD, Executive Director & President

In early May 2023, the Board of Directors of the Monell Chemical Senses Center named Benjamin P.C. Smith, PhD, the fourth permanent director in the Center’s 55-year history.

Dr. Smith has worked at the intersection of taste, smell, and public health for most of his career, including senior positions in the fragrance and flavor industry. He has key experience in translating foundational research for societal impact in diverse areas such as toxicology, food science, and chemical ecology.

An experienced research administrator, he has an extensive track record of building science programs and collaboration across academia, industry, and government. He is particularly passionate about multi-disciplinary research and believes connecting different fields of science is essential to stimulating new ideas and addressing global issues. Smith was most recently the Director of the Singapore Future Ready Food Safety Hub, a tripartite organization established to support national and international food security goals and support novel food safety testing solutions.

His doctoral training is in chemical sciences from the University of Adelaide in Australia. He was a postdoctoral fellow from 2002 to 2003, studying the role of the immune system in modulating individual odor fingerprints in the lab of Monell Director Emeritus Gary Beauchamp, PhD. Smith says his decision to accept the Monell Directorship is akin to a homecoming to work with the Center’s faculty and staff to help write the next page of Monell’s story.

“I am thrilled to be rejoining the Monell family and be given the trust to work with everyone at the Center to foster new collaborations and further our understanding of smell, taste, and chemesthesis. The chemical senses have critical roles in everything we do and the researchers at Monell are well positioned to leverage their knowledge across such other areas of science as nutrition and public health,” noted Smith.

Benjamin P.C. Smith, PhD