Monell Center Joins Global Consortium to Research Sensory Effects of COVID-19

The Monell Center formed the Global Consortium of Chemosensory Researchers (GCCR) with health organizations worldwide to research COVID-19’s effects on the chemical senses. 

The GCCR was formed in March 2020 and consists of over 540 clinicians, cognitive scientists, data scientists, sensory researchers and technicians from at least 56 countries. Together, these researchers are conducting a worldwide survey to analyze the transmission of COVID-19 and possible mitigation strategies. The survey has been translated into 20 languages and is available to individuals and clinicians here

Additionally, the GCCR has created a test for volunteers over the age of 18 to monitor their smell and taste capabilities. As part of this project, participants are encouraged to complete the test weekly over a three-month window to help GCCR researchers determine COVID-19’s how COVID-19 impacts patients’ senses in comparison to other diseases and good health. 

The GCCR hopes the survey and test will shed light on the nature of anosmia and ageusia in COVID-19 patients, particularly regarding the prevalence and severity of smell/taste loss. Monell Associate Director Danielle Reed, PhD will help guide the GCCR through this research process by serving on its nine-person international leadership team. 

Additionally, Reed’s lab at the Monell Center has designed a tool to track global updates on COVID-19 research, particularly regarding smell loss in patients. The tool includes a visualization of the estimated prevalence of smell loss in objective and subjective studies of COVID-19 patients, and a database with detailed accounts of the purpose and origin of each study.

About the Monell Center

The Monell Chemical Senses Center is the world’s only independent, nonprofit scientific institute dedicated to interdisciplinary basic research on the senses of smell and taste. Founded in 1968, the Monell Center has produced major research in fields like human flavor and fragrance perception, nutrition and diet, obesity and metabolic disease, population regulation, homeland security, environmental chemical exposure and pollution effects. In doing so, the Monell Center has sought to shape the next generation of scientists by offering pre-doctoral and postdoctoral training programs, with over 400 PhD-level scientists having been trained since 1969. For more information about the Monell Center, visit their website here.  

Article written by Amelia Winger on behalf of Global Philadelphia Association.