Intellectual property created by Monell scientists has covered a range of technologies from non-toxic bird repellents to gender-specific deodorant compositions to a naturally occurring anti-inflammatory compound from olive oil.
Technologies are often commercialized by our corporate partners. One of the benefits of Monell’s Corporate Partner Program is first notice of the opportunity to license inventions developed by Monell. In addition, the Center’s technology transfer policy acknowledges the special status of financial supporters of specific research projects. Typically, exclusive options to license rights are granted for inventions resulting from partnered research projects.
Inquiries about the available technologies or about Monell’s Technology Transfer Program should be directed to Maureen O’Leary by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The benefits of olive oil as part of the Mediterranean diet have been explored extensively, and the number of studies investigating the putative healthful compounds in olive oil is rising dramatically. Oleocanthal is a compound in olive oil that has anti-inflammatory activity equal in potency to ibuprofen. Studies suggest that oleocanthal may help in the treatment of a variety of inflammatory conditions, including neurodegenerative disease and cancer. Methods for the natural extraction of oleocanthal and the enantioselective synthesis of oleocanthal and its derivatives have also been developed.
In addition to the well-known T1R2/T1R3 sweet taste receptor, there appears to be another mechanism for detecting sweet compounds, in particular, natural sugars. This pathway involves sugar transporters and an ATP-gated channel similar to that involved in glucose sensing and insulin release in the pancreas. Screening for sweet taste using a system that includes this alternative pathway could provide a more comprehensive screen for sweet compounds and sweet taste.
Functional olfactory receptors, the sensors that detect odors in the nose, are also present in human taste cells found on the tongue. The presence of olfactory receptors and taste receptors in the same cell provides us with exciting opportunities to study interactions between odor and taste stimuli on the tongue. The findings also may provide a tool to increase understanding of how the olfactory system detects odors. Monell cultured taste cells responding to odors are being used as screening assays to help identify which molecules bind to specific human olfactory receptors
In an industry-academic partnership with DiscoveryBioMed, Inc Monell established cultures of bitter-responsive human taste bud epithelial cells from individual donor taste papillae tissues. This work is based in taste genetics and the ‘bitterome,’ the genome of the 25 or more bitter taste receptors in human taste buds. Linking genetics and taste behavior of human subjects to the biology of individuals’ taste cells is powerful. This collaboration is entering a second phase to discover bitter blockers, small molecules combined with bitter medicines and bitter-tasting foods to improve their taste.