Nancy E. Rawson, Scientific Advisor to the Foundation
B.Sc., M.Sc., Ph.D., C.N.S of the Monell Chemical Senses Center

Dr. Rawson was appointed an Assistant Member at the Monell Chemical Senses Center in 1995 and promoted to Associate Member in 2000. The Monell Center is a nonprofit research institute in Philadelphia, PA (USA) dedicated to research in the field of taste, smell, chemical irritation and nutrition.

Dr. Rawson holds a B.Sc. degree in Biology from Fairfield University (1978), a M.Sc. degree in Nutrition Science from the Univ. of Massachusetts (1982), and a Ph.D. in Biology from the University of Pennsylvania (1993). Prior to pursuing her Ph.D. degree, she worked at Campbell’s Soup Co. as a Research Nutritionist, and is a Certified Nutrition Specialist.

Her Ph.D. research employed methods ranging from behavior to in vivo NMR spectroscopy to identify biochemical signals in the liver that trigger hunger. She obtained a postdoctoral fellowship in cell and molecular biology, working with Dr. Diego Restrepo at the Monell Center, where she studied olfactory receptor gene expression and participated in the first direct studies of human olfactory neuron physiology.

She currently has active research programs in both human and animal olfaction, with a particular emphasis on nutritional modulation of olfactory system integrity, focusing on the role of retinoic acid in neural recovery post-trauma. She also directs an NIH-funded research program investigating basic mechanisms of human olfactory neuron function, and the effects of aging, neurodegenerative and neuropsychiatric diseases on olfactory neuron physiology.

Dr. Rawson has authored or co-authored over 25 publications and chapters and has served as an ad hoc reviewer for the American Journal of Physiology, Neuron, Cell, Developmental Brain Research and the Journal of Biological Psychiatry. Dr. Rawson has also served on grant review study sections for the NSF and for several institutes within NIH. Writers for a variety of newspapers and magazines contact Dr. Rawson for information about the biology of olfaction related to topics ranging from human aging to companion animals, and her work on the aging olfactory system has been described in the New York Times.

Dr. Rawson has received Young Investigator Awards from the European Chemosensory Research Organization, the Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior and the American Institute of Nutrition. She is a member of the Association for Chemosensory Sciences, the Society for Neuroscience and the Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior and has served as a mentor for aspiring scientists in Monell’s Minority Student Research Apprenticeship Program.



Hahn, C-G., G. Gomez, D. Restrepo, E. Friedman, R. Josiassen, E. Pribitkin, L. D. Lowry and N. E. Rawson. Aberrant intracellular calcium signaling in olfactory neurons from bipolar patients. Arch Gen. Psych. (Submitted).

Rawson N.E., H. Ji, M. M. Zviman and M. I. Friedman. The metabolic inhibitor 2,5-anhydro-D-mannitol elicits an increase in intracellular calcium in hepatocytes. Biochem. Biophys. Acta (Submitted).

Refereed Publications

Rawson, N.E. and G. Gomez. Cell and molecular biology of human olfaction. Microsc. Res. Tech. (In Press).

Hyman S. and N. E. Rawson. Preliminary results of olfactory testing in rats without deprivation. Lab Animal 30(1):38-39 (2001).

Gomez, G., N.E. Rawson, B. Cowart, L.D. Lowry, E.A. Pribitkin and D. Restrepo. Modulation of odor-induced increases in [Ca2+]i by inhibitors of protein kinases A and C in rat and human olfactory receptor neurons. J. Neuroscience. 98(1):181-189 (2000).

Rawson N. E., P. Ulrich, J. Jackson, J. Eberwine and D. Restrepo. Expression of mRNAs encoding for two different olfactory receptors in a subset of olfactory receptor neurons. J. Neurochem. 75(1):185-195 (2000).

Gomez, G., N. E. Rawson, C-G. Hahn and D. Restrepo. Characteristics of odorant elicited calcium changes in cultured human olfactory neurons. J. Neurosci. Res. 62:737-749 (2000).

Yee K.K. and N. E. Rawson. Retinoic acid enhances the rate of olfactory recovery after olfactory nerve transection. Dev. Brain Res. 124:129-132 (2000).

Nibu K., G. Li, X. Zhang, N.E. Rawson, D. Restrepo, K. Kaga, L. D. Lowry, W. M. Keane and J. L. Rothstein. Olfactory neuron-specific expression of NeuroD in mouse and human nasal epithelium. Cell and Tissue Res. 298:405-414 (1999).

Rawson N.E. The cell and molecular biology of human olfaction: an overview. Quintessence International 30:335-341 (1999). [reprinted in Japanese]

Rawson N.E., G. Gomez, B.J. Cowart and D. Restrepo. The use of olfactory receptor neurons (ORNs) from biopsies to study changes in aging and neurodegenerative diseases. Ann. NY Acad. Sci. 855:701-707 (1998)

Dunn-Meynell A.A., N.E. Rawson and B. E. Levin. Distribution and phenotype of neurons containing the ATP-sensitive K+ channel in rat brain. Brain Research 814:41-54 (1998).

Rawson N.E., J.G. Brand, B.J. Cowart, G. Gomez, L.D. Lowry, E.A. Pribitkin and D.Restrepo. Selectivity and unusual response characteristics of human olfactory neurons J. Neurophysiol. 77:1606-1613 (1997).

Gomez, G., D. Restrepo, N. Rawson, L.D. Lowry, W.M. Keane and J.L. Rothstein. Induction of differentiation of human olfactory neuroblastoma cells into odorant-responsive cells. Neuroscience 74(2):567-577 (1996).

Brand J.G., N.E. Rawson and D. Restrepo. Signal transduction in olfaction and symptomatology of olfactory dysfunction. Revue Internationale de Psychopathologie. 22:281-303 (1996).

Rawson N.E. M.G. Tordoff., P.M. Ulrich and M.I. Friedman. Fatty acid oxidation modulates the eating response to 2,5-anhydro-D-mannitol. Am. J. Physiol. 271:R144-R148 (1996).

Rawson N.E., J.G. Brand, B.J. Cowart, L.D. Lowry, E.A. Pribitkin, V.M. Rao and D.Restrepo. Functionally mature olfactory neurons from two anosmic patients with Kallmann syndrome. Dev. Brain Research. 681(2):58-64 (1995).

Rawson N.E., Ulrich P. and M.I. Friedman. The methionine analogue, L-ethionine, elicits feeding in rats. Am. J. Physiol. 267:R612-R615 (1994).

Rawson N.E. and M.I. Friedman. Phosphate-loading prevents the decrease in ATP and increase in food intake produced by 2,5-anhydro-D-mannitol. Am. J. Physiol. 266:R1792-R1796 (1994).

Rawson N.E., H. Blum., M.D. Osbakken and M.I. Friedman. Hepatic phosphate trapping, decreased ATP, and increased feeding after 2,5-anhydro-D-mannitol. Am. J. Physiol. 266:R112-R117 (1994).

Tordoff M.G., N. Rawson and M.I Friedman. 2,5-Anhydro-D-mannitol acts in liver to initiate feeding. Am. J. Physiol. 261:R283-R288 (1991).

Scholl T.O., Hediger M.L., Khoo C-S., Healey, M.F. and N.E. Rawson. Maternal weight gain, diet and infant birth weight: correlations during adolescent pregnancy. J. Clin. Epidemiol. 44 (4/5): 423-428 (1991).

Khoo C.S., N.E. Rawson, M.L. Robinson, R.J. Stevenson. Nutrient intakes and eating habits of triathletes. Annals of Sports Medicine 3(2):144-150 (1987).


Cowart, B. and N. E. Rawson. Chapter 18: Olfaction. In: Blackwell’s Handbook of Perception. T. Goldstein, Ed. Blackwell Publishers, Oxford England (2001).

Rawson, N.E. Human Olfaction. In: Neurobiology of Taste and Smell. T. E. Finger, W. L. Silver and D. Restrepo, Eds. Wiley-Liss, New York (2000). Restrepo, D. and N. E. Rawson. Cellular and molecular mechanisms of olfaction. In: Principles in Medical Biology, E. E. Bittar, Ed. Springer-Verlag, Amsterdam (2000).

Friedman M.I., H. Ji, G. Graczyk-Milbrandt, M.D. Osbakken and N.E. Rawson. Hepatic sensing in the control of food intake: unresolved issues. Liver and Nervous System. Ed. By D. Haussinger and K. Jungermann. Kluwer Press, Lancaster (1998).

Friedman M.I., N.E. Rawson and M. G. Tordoff. Hepatic signals for control of food intake. Ed. By G. A. Bray and D. H. Ryan. In: The Genetics and Molecular Biology of Obesity, LSU Press: Baton Rouge, pp 318-339 (1996).

Restrepo D., M. Zviman and N.E. Rawson. The measurement of intracellular calcium in chemosensory cells. In: Methods in Chemosensory Research. Ed. by A. Spielman and J. Brand. CRC Press, Boca Raton (1995).


N. E. Rawson, K. Yee, G. Gomez, T. Dankulich, E. Pribitkin and B. Cowart. Retinoic acid promotes functional recovery in the adult olfactory system. Poster presentation at Symposium on Brain Aging, to be held Nov. 4, 2001, San Diego, CA.

Getz A., Pribitkin E.A., Rawson N.E, Krein H., Yee K., Cowart B. and Keane W. Role of Retinoic Acid in Olfaction. Oral presentation at Pennsylvania Academy of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery, Philadelphia PA 6-29-01.

Lischka, F.W., N.E. Rawson, L.D. Lowry, E. Pribitkin and J. Teeter. Patch-clamp recordings from human olfactory neurons. AChemS Meeting, April, 2001.

Gomez G., Hahn C-G. and N. E. Rawson. Molecular characterization of functionally defined cultured human olfactory neurons. Soc. for Neuroscience Annual Meeting November, 2000.

Rawson N.E., G. Gomez, L. D. Lowry, E. Pribitkin, M. Pelchat and B. Cowart. Olfactory receptor cell function in aging epithelium. International Society for Olfaction and Taste/European Chemosensory Research Organization Joint Meeting, Brighton, England, July 2000 [invited presentation].

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