News Release

Thursday, November 16, 2006

NIH-funded Research on Taste, Smell Featured in Journal Nature Insight

Taste and smell research partly funded by the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), one of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), is highlighted in the November 16, 2006, issue of Nature Insight. The issue, which is co-sponsored by the NIDCD, includes studies in molecular and cellular biology, genetics, imaging, and biophysics as they pertain to the chemical senses. The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR), another NIH institute, contributed to one of the studies in the issue.

“The chemical senses of taste and smell play an important role in our lives, and disorders of these senses often have a major impact on a person's quality of life, diet, and overall health,” says James F. Battey, Jr., M.D., Ph.D., director of the NIDCD. “The contributions made to the study of the chemical senses by these and other researchers have paved the way for improved diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of taste and smell disorders.”

Article titles included in the issue are:

  • Comparative Chemosensation: from Receptors to Ecology — Cori Bargmann, Ph.D., Rockefeller University
  • Smell Images and the Flavor System in the Human Brain — Gordon Shepherd, M.D., Ph.D., Yale School of Medicine
  • Insects as Chemosensors of Humans and Crops — John Carlson, Ph.D., and Wynand Van der Goes van Naters, Ph.D., Yale University
  • Pheromonal Communication in Vertebrates — Frank Zufall, Ph.D., University of Maryland School of Medicine; Peter Brennan, Ph.D., University of Bristol
  • The Receptors and Cells for Mammalian Taste — Charles Zuker, Ph.D., Howard Hughes Medical Institute and University of California - San Diego (UCSD); Jayaram Chandrashekar, Ph.D., UCSD; Mark Hoon, Ph.D., and Nicholas Ryba, Ph.D., NIDCR

NIDCD supports and conducts research and research training on the normal and disordered processes of hearing, balance, smell, taste, voice, speech and language and provides health information, based upon scientific discovery, to the public. For more information about NIDCD programs, see the Web site at

The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research is the nation's leading funder of research on oral, dental, and craniofacial health. For more information, visit the Web site at

About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation's medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit

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