Federica Genovese Named Monell Center Kare Research Fellow

For Immediate Release
Contact: Karen Kreeger; kkreeger@monell.org

(PHILADELPHIA – August 01, 2023) Federica Genovese, PhD, has been named the Monell Center’s newest Morley R. Kare Fellow. Her research focuses on the trigeminal nerve – the largest cranial nerve, which is the first line of defense for the upper airways from the outside environment.

Federica Genovese, PhD

“My research characterizes how the trigeminal nerve detects air-borne chemicals, from many sources ranging from innocuous odorants to potentially harmful irritants,” said Genovese. “A better understanding of how this little-studied chemosensory system works and interacts with other chemosensory systems, like olfaction, will contribute to improving human health, with potential applications for migraines and neurodegenerative diseases.”

As a Kare Fellow, Genovese will receive up to three years of partial salary support, along with additional funding for research supplies. Her previous funding has included a 2020 National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders Early Career Research Award.

“Federica’s creativity and technical excellence exemplifies the best of the next generation of chemosensory scientists,” said Acting Monell Director and President, Nancy E. Rawson, PhD. “Her work will fill gaps in our knowledge of how this important and under-studied sensory system functions in health and disease.”

The Kare Fellowship was established in 1990 to honor the vision of Monell’s founding Director, Morley Kare, PhD, who recognized the importance of nurturing early-career scientists to become leaders in the field of chemosensory science. Support for the Fellowship is provided by donations from Dr. Kare’s family and friends, other individual donors, and the Monell Foundation.

“The Kare Fellowship will allow me to continue my work in this growing field,” said Genovese. “I am grateful to the Kare family and many others for this opportunity, especially because it can hopefully contribute to helping people heal.”

Currently, Genovese leads an independent research program examining the synergy of the signals transmitted to the brain by the trigeminal nerve and olfactory neurons. “It’s the dual nature of volatiles as olfactory and trigeminal stimuli that makes the interaction between the two systems so interesting,” said Genovese.

In 2016, Genovese received her doctorate in neuroscience from the University of Heidelberg, Germany. She joined Monell in 2017 as a postdoctoral fellow and was promoted to the position of Research Associate in 2022.


The Monell Chemical Senses Center is an independent nonprofit basic research institute based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Founded in 1968, Monell‘s mission is to improve health and well-being by advancing the scientific understanding of taste, smell, and related senses, where our discoveries lead to improving nutritional health, diagnosing and treating disease, addressing smell and taste loss, and digitizing chemosensory data.