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(267) 519-4755
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Beverly Cowart


Member, Monell Chemical Senses Center
Adjunct Assistant Professor of Otolaryngology (Research), Thomas Jefferson University


Ph.D., Psychology; The George Washington University

Research Summary

For the past 20 years, the overall goal of my research program has been to understand chemosensory dysfunction as a disease entity, developing appropriate clinical measures of chemosensory function, identifying etiologies of dysfunction, and investigating such issues as the impact of chemosensory dysfunctions on patients, the demographic characteristics of individuals with chemosensory dysfunctions, and the prognoses for chemosensory dysfunctions. Most recently the focus of our studies has been on the role of inflammatory pathology in chemosensory dysfunction, particularly in smell loss secondary to chronic rhinosinusitis, and on the protective role of extra-oral taste receptors in nasal-sinus disease. We are also pursuing studies of plasticity in the adult olfactory system with the goal of enhancing olfactory function in aging and disease.


smell, taste, chemical irritation, psychophysics, aging, taste & smell disorders, anosmia

Recent Publications

Zhao, K.; Jiang, J.; Pribitkin, E.A.; Dalton, P.; Rosen, D.; Lyman, B.; Yee, K.K.; Rawson, N.E.; Cowart, B.J. (2014) Conductive olfactory losses in chronic rhinosinusitis? – A computational fluid dynamics study of 29 patients. International Forum of Allergy and Rhinology. (Electronic Citation) doi: 10.1002/alr.21272

Coldwell ,S.E.; Mennella, J.A.; Duffy, V.B.; Pelchat, M.L.; Griffith, J.W.; Smutzer, G.; Cowart, B.J.; Breslin, P.A.S.; et al. (2013) Gustation assessment using the NIH Toolbox. Neurology, 80 (SUPP), 1-5.

Rawson, N.E.; Gomez, G.; Cowart, B.J.; Kriete, A.; Pribitkin, E.; Restrepo, D. (2012) Age-associated loss of selectivity in human olfactory sensory neurons. Neurobiology of Aging, 33, 1913-1919.

Stein, L.J.; Cowart, B.J.; Beauchamp, G.K. (2012) The development of salty taste acceptance is related to dietary experience in human infants: a prospective study. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 95, 123-129.

Cowart, B.J. (2011) Smell and taste in aging. Perfumer and Flavorist, 36.1, 34-36.

Cowart, B.J. (2010) Taste dysfunction: a practical guide for oral medicine. Oral Diseases, 17, 2-6.

Yee, K.K.; Pribitkin, E.A.; Cowart, B.J.; Vainius, A.A.; Klock, C.T.; Rosen, D.; Feng, P.; McLean, J.; Hahn, C.G.; Rawson, N.E. (2010) Neuropathology of the olfactory mucosa in chronic rhinosinusitis. American Journal of Rhinology and Allergy, 24, 110-120.

Cowart, B.J. (2009) Aging and chemical senses. In: Goldstein, B. (Ed.) Encyclopedia of Perception. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, 17-19.

Cowart, B.J. (2009) Olfaction: Disorders. In: Goldstein, B. (Ed.) Encyclopedia of Perception. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, 661-64.

Dalton, P.; Mennella, J.A.; Cowart, B.J.; Maute, C.; Pribitkin, E.A. and Reilly, J.S. (2009) Evaluating the prevalence of olfactory dysfunction in a pediatric population. Annals of the New York Academy of Science, 1170, 537-42.

Huque, T.; Cowart, B.J.; Dankulich-Nagrudny, L.; Pribitkin, E.A.; Bayley, D.L.; Spielman, A.I.; Feldman, R.S.; Mackler, S.A.; Brand, J.G. (2009) Sour ageusia in two individuals implicates ion channels of the ASIC and PKD families in human sour taste perception at the anterior tongue. PLoS ONE, 4.10, e7347.

Ozdener, M.H.; Yee, K.K.; McDermott, R.; Cowart, B.J.; Vainius, A.A.; Dalton, P.; Rawson, N. (2009) Assessment of smoking status based on cotinine levels in nasal lavage fluid. Tobacco Induced Diseases, 5.1, 11.

Yee, K.K.; Pribitkin, E.A.; Cowart, B.J.; Rosen, D.; Feng, P.; Rawson, N.E. (2009) Analysis of the olfactory mucosa in chronic rhinosinusitis. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1170.590, 595.

Yee, K.K.; Pribitkin, E.A.; Cowart, B.J.; Vainius, A.A.; Klock, C.T.; Rosen, D.; Hahn, C.G; Rawson, N.E. (2009) Smoking-associated squamous metaplasia in olfactory mucosa of patients with chronic rhinosinusitis. Toxicologic Pathology, 37.5, 594-598.

Mattes, R.D.; Cowart, B.J. (2007) Research methods for human sensory system analysis and food evaluation. In: Monsen, E.R.; Van Horn, L. (Eds.) Research: Successful Approaches. Chicago: American Dietetic Association, 249-66.