Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania

Smell and Taste Center

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Research Programs

Since its inception, research has been an important element of the Smell and Taste Center.  The various research projects carried out by the Center have resulted in or added to the growing knowledge in the fields of olfaction and gustation.

Below are listings and information regarding current research projects as well as examples of past research conducted by the Center.  Feel free to contact our Research Coordinator, Mark Potter, at 215-615-3404 or email Mark.Potter@uphs.upenn.edu if you would like to participate in one of our studies.

Current Research Projects

  • Legionella Pneumonia's Effect on Olfactory Function: The goal of this study is to determine whether those who have had Legionnaires' disease suffer smell loss. The study is straightforward. A quantitative olfactory test will be performed by the participants.  Such testing will require approximately 20-30 minutes of the participants' time.  Currently looking for individuals with a diagnosis of Legionnaires’ disease, non-smoker, not pregnant or nursing. In the future we will need healthy volunteers.
  • Nasal Inhalation Influences on Smell Function:  To determine whether scores on quantitative odor detection and identification tests are improved following a 4-month double-blind “training” protocol.  Qualifications:  over 18 years of age, in good health, with a diminished smell capacity.

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Examples of Past Research Programs

  • Unique Brainstem Biomarkers of Parkinson's Disease
  • Postmenopausal Estrogen Influences on Olfaction
  • Olfaction in Epilepsy
  • Olfactory Event Related Potentials and Frontal Limbic Pathology in Schizophrenia
  • Olfactory Function in Schizophrenia: A Lifespan Analysis
  • Function of Taurine in the Primary Olfactory Pathway
  • Olfaction in Multiple Sclerosis
  • Olfactory Damage in Alzheimer's Disease Pathology
  • Sensory Dysfunction in Early Parkinson's Disease

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