Joseph Brand, PhD, who passed in late December 2020, after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease, is an example of a rare renaissance scientist whose breadth of knowledge about the chemosensory world contributed to many careers and allied fields. He helped all of us understand the mysteries of taste and smell a little bit better over the last 50 years. He studied many aspects of the biology of taste, in many species, from the channel catfish to the domestic cat. Notably, Dr. Brand and colleagues discovered that cats are not able to taste sweetness. They found this by sequencing the gene for a broken sweet taste receptor. This finding astonished the scientific and companion animal worlds equally.
Thank you for joining us in celebrating Dr. Brand’s achievements by making a donation to support the Monell Science Apprenticeship Program (MSAP). The mission of MSAP is to stimulate an interest in biomedical science or medicine as careers – particularly for students traditionally underrepresented in the sciences. Together with you, we will support one apprentice in Joe’s name during summer 2021 and, hopefully, for many years to come.