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Federica Genovese


Postdoctoral Fellow, Monell Chemical Senses Center

Laboratory of

Dr. Marco Tizzano


Ph.D., Neuroscience, University of Heidelberg (Heidelberg, Germany)

Research Summary

In the mammalian nose, the trigeminal system detects irritants and the olfactory system detects odorants. Traditionally, these systems have been considered separate sensory modalities, but a more complex picture has recently emerged. Psychophysical and electrophysiological studies show evidence of interaction between these two chemosensory systems, suggesting that olfactory perception is the result of olfactory-trigeminal integration, rather than an isolated system.

Although most odorants can also activate the trigeminal system, and most irritants can also be detected by olfactory sensory neurons, the nature of olfactory-trigeminal interaction is still unclear.

I am interested in investigating the mechanisms underlying the interaction of the trigeminal and olfactory chemosensory systems during the detection of volatile irritants, with a special focus on the role of solitary chemosensory cells (SCCs), specialized chemosensitive nasal epithelial sentinel cells.


Neuroscience, electrophysiology, olfaction, chemesthesis, solitary chemosensory cells, inflammation, neuromodulation, migraine