Marissa Kamarck

Research Associate


Research Associate, Monell Chemical Senses Center


Ph.D., Neuroscience, University of Pennsylvania

Laboratory Of

Dr. Joel Mainland

Research Summary

My research goals are to better understand how the sense of smell functions by studying human genetics. By identifying variations in olfactory receptors that are associated with the differences in human perception of particular odors, we can gain insight into what receptors are responsible for detecting which odors and how they work in concert to code for our sense of smell.

In order to understand how human olfaction works in general, I am studying a population of individuals with congenital anosmia, a condition where people are born without a sense of smell. By identifying variants that cause anosmia, we can learn what genes may be necessary for the human olfactory system to function properly.


olfaction, genomics, psychophysics, anosmia

Representative Publications

*authors contributed equally to the work:

Li B.*, Kamarck, M. L.*, Peng, Q.*, Lim, F-L, Keller, A., Smeetes, M. A. M., Mainland, J. D., Wang, S. (2022) From musk to body odor: Decoding olfaction through genetic variation. PLOS Genetics. 18(2), e1009564. doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1009564

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