Paul Breslin



Member, Monell Chemical Senses Center
Professor, Department of Nutritional Sciences, Rutgers University


Ph.D., Experimental Psychology; University of Pennsylvania
M.A., Experimental Psychology; University of Pennsylvania

Research Summary

I am interested in human oral perception and its genetic basis. The primary focus of my work is on taste perception with an emphasis on taste discrimination, taste enhancement and suppression, and taste localization. I also study oral irritation/chemesthesis, mouthfeel, and astringency. The interactions among gustation, chemesthesis, and olfaction that comprise flavor are the topic of an ongoing research program that includes fMRI as a tool to understand regional brain involvement. In addition to human research, I conduct parallel genetic studies of the chemical senses in my Fly Lab, which uses Drosophila melanogaster as a model.


taste, psychophysics, behavioral genetics, perceptual genetics, psychogenomics, oral rheometry, functional expression

Representative Publications

Breslin, P.A.S. (2019). Chemical Senses in Feeding, Belonging, and Surviving or Are You Going to Eat That?  Cambridge Elements — Perception. 1-45. ISBN: 978-1-108-71407-5 (PB).

Goren, L., Zhang, G., Kaushik, S., Breslin, P.A.S., Du, Y.N., Foster, D.A. (2019). (-)-Oleocanthal and   (-)-oleocanthal-rich olive oils induce lysosomal membrane permeabilization in cancer cells. PLoS One. 14(8):e0216024.  PMID: 31412041

Breslin, P.A.S. (2018).  The sense of taste encompasses two roles: conscious taste perception and subconscious metabolic responses. In: Think Tank: 45 Curious Neuroscientists Explain the Biological Roots of Human Experience. Linden, D. J. (Sr. Ed.), Andrew Wiley Pub., New York.

Peyrot des Gachons, C., Avrillier, J., Gleason, M., Algarra, L., Zhang, S., Mura, E., Nagai, H., Breslin, P.A.S. (2016). Oral Cooling and Carbonation Increase the Perception of Drinking and Thirst Quenching in Thirsty Adults. PLoS One, 29;11(9):e0162261. PMID: 27685093.

Peyrot des Gachons, C. and Breslin, P.A.S. (2016) Salivary Amylase: Digestion and Metabolic Syndrome. Current Diabetes Reports, 16:102. PMID: 27640169. PMCID: PMC6825871

LeGendre, O.,  Breslin, P.A.S., Foster, D.A. (2015) (-)-Oleocanthal rapidly and selectively induced cancer cell death via lysosomal membrane permeabilization (LMP). Mol. Cell. Oncology, 2(4):e1006077. PMID:  26380379

Wise, P.M., Breslin, P.A., Dalton, P. (2013) Effect of Taste Sensation on Cough Reflex Sensitivity. Lung. 192: 9-13. PMID: 24173385

Breslin, P.A.S. (2013) An evolutionary perspective on food and human taste. Current Biology, 23, R409-R418. [Cover Article]. PMID: 23660364

Related Links

Director, Monell Science Apprenticeship Program

Paul Breslin

Contact Information

(267) 519-4780