Monell Center President and CEO Announces Plans for Stepping Down

(PHILADELPHIA) – The Monell Chemical Senses Center announced today that its current Director and President Robert F. Margolskee, MD, PhD, will be stepping down as Director by June 30th, 2022, after which he will remain as a part-time faculty member to complete several research projects in progress.

Robert F. Margolskee, MD, PhD, Director and President of the Monell Center

Robert F. Margolskee, MD, PhD

“It has been my honor and pleasure to serve as Monell’s Director for the past six-plus years,” said Margolskee. “I am proud to have guided the Center through some highly challenging times, including the current COVID-19 pandemic.”

The Monell board of directors will oversee the process to choose Dr. Margolskee’s successor, which will involve a full, external search to continue a legacy of strong leadership. “Monell faculty, staff, board members, and our partners in academia and business are fortunate to have worked with Bob to advance Monell and its contributions to science,” said Monell Board Chair David Macnair, PhD. “Throughout Bob’s tenure, Monell has maintained and grown its reputation as a global leader in taste and smell research and how these senses are integral to human health.”

Dr. Margolskee became the Center’s third Director in 2014, having joined its faculty in 2009. His seminal discovery in 1992 of gustducin, a signaling protein expressed selectively in taste cells, launched molecular biological approaches to the study of taste and provided the critical knowledge to explain how taste receptors detect sweet, bitter, and savory taste molecules. His current research focuses on sweet taste and the function of taste receptors throughout the body.

As Director, Dr. Margolskee led Monell through a highly successful fiftieth anniversary fundraising campaign; coalesced research aims to concentrate on translating basic science to clinical applications; recruited outstanding faculty and administrators; and most recently, guided research and day-to-day operations through an historic pandemic – one that thrust the Center and the importance of the senses of smell and taste into wide public awareness.

He attributes his success to all Monellians: “We are in a better place to face the future because of the Monell family and the dedication and creativity everyone brings to their work.”


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.