Juyun Lim, PhD, Joins Monell Chemical Senses Center to Focus on Sensory Nutrition Research

For immediate release
Contact: Karen Kreeger, kkreeger@monell.org

PHILADELPHIA (May 15, 2024) – The Monell Chemical Senses Center welcomes Juyun Lim, PhD, as the newest addition to the faculty at Monell, starting in August, 2024. She is currently a Professor of Sensory Science and the Chair of the Graduate Program in the Department of Food Science and Technology at Oregon State University.

“We are looking forward to welcoming Juyun to Monell in late summer,” said Monell Executive Director and President Benjamin P.C. Smith, PhD. “Her breadth of experience, research interests, and ongoing investigations overlap with many Monell faculty members’ interests. She will be able to hit the ground running in August to translate foundational discoveries into strategies that make a difference in people’s health and overall well-being.”

Juyun Lim, PhD

“I am both excited and grateful to become a permanent member of the Monell Center,” said Lim. “In 2017, I took a sabbatical there as a visiting scientist, and now I will be able to work every day at this seminal research facility with its stellar faculty.”

Dr. Lim’s recent work focuses on understanding how carbohydrates in foods are detected by humans as well as how taste and smell contribute to the experience of eating and drinking. Her primary intertwined research interests are:

Human Flavor Perception and Food Choice: What is a flavor that signals a source of safe, nutritious food? For example, Lim and colleagues found that retronasal odor is significantly enhanced by a taste that signals the presence of such “beneficial” substances as sugars, amino acids, and salt, but not by other taste qualities such as acidic/sour and bitter.

Taste of Carbohydrates: Lim’s team found that humans can taste complex carbohydrates, especially the ones that are broken down after chewing starchy foods. Because starches are a significant source of calories, being able to detect them is critical for human health. Her current research involves looking at the structural characteristics of various complex carbohydrates that enable humans to taste them.

Taste-Induced Insulin Release: The release of insulin before/during eating is one of the human body’s reflexive responses to food. But how the senses and brain tie into this system is poorly understood. To help make this connection, Lim’s team is investigating how taste initiates this process and how this initial insulin release impacts glucose tolerance after eating foods.

Lim has received numerous honors and recognition for her research and teaching over the last 20 years. This includes the 2012 Moskowitz Jacobs Award for Research Excellence in the Psychophysics of Human Taste and Smell given by the Association for Chemoreception Sciences. She has authored or given nearly 150 publications in peer-reviewed journals, reviews, book chapters, invited seminars, and conference presentations.

She has also obtained consistent funding from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders and industry over the last two decades. Lim is deeply engaged in volunteer professional service from grant reviewing to journal article editing to serving on numerous scientific society committees. She obtained her PhD in Food Science from Cornell University in 2005 and was a postdoctoral fellow at the John B. Pierce Laboratory, in New Haven Conn. until 2007, after which she moved to Oregon State University.

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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.