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(267) 519-4920
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TMAU Testing

George Preti


Member, Monell Chemical Senses Center
Adjunct Professor, Department of Dermatology, School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania


Ph.D., Organic Chemistry; Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Research Summary

Research in my laboratory focuses upon the nature and origin of human odors, particularly those from the underarm (axillae) and the oral cavity. We have identified the structures of many human axillary odorants, demonstrated the presence of human primer and modulator pheromones in the axillary secretions and have used our knowledge of body chemistry to diagnose disease and the time of optimum fertility in females. We are pursuing the structures of the active pheromone constituents via a bioassay-guided isolation procedure as well as employing gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC/MS) to generate metabolic profiles (“metabolomics”) of human urine, skin and axillary secretions to identify biomarkers of disease, individual identity and stress. In addition we study the amelioration of malodors from humans with the odor producing metabolic disease, Trimethylaminuria, as well as from agricultural and environmental activities via cross-adaptation, odor absorption and anti-microbial agents.


olfaction, gas chromatography/mass spectrometry, olfactometry, organic-analytical chemistry, human body odors, human stress odors, malodor amelioration, odor and disease, human odorprints, agricultural and environmental odors

Recent Publications

Prokop-Prigge, K.A.; Thaler, E.; Wysocki, C.J.; Preti, G. (2014) Identification of volatile organic compounds in human cerumen. Journal of Chromatography B, 953-954, 48-52.

Kwak, J.; Gallagher, M.; Ozdener, M.H.; Wysocki, C.J.; Goldsmith, B.R.; Isamah, A.; Faranda, A.; Fakharzadeh, S.S.; Herlyn, M.; Johnson, A.T.C.; Preti, G. (2013) Volatile biomarkers from human melanoma cells. Journal of Chromatography B: Analytical Technologies in the Biomedical and Life Sciences, 931, 90-96.

Kwak, J.; Grigsby, C.C.; Preti, G.; Rizki, M.M.; Yamazaki, K.; Beauchamp, G.K. (2013) Changes in volatile compounds of mouse urine as it ages: their interactions with water and urinary proteins. Physiology & Behavior, 120, 211-219.

Kwak, J.; Preti, G. (2013) Challenges in the investigation of volatile disease biomarkers in urine. In: Amann, A.; Smith, D. (Eds.) Volatile Biomarkers: Non-Invasive Diagnosis in Physiology and Medicine. Elsevier.

Kybert, N.J.; Lerner, M.B.; Yodh, J.S.; Preti, G.; Johnson, A.T.C. (2013) Differentiation of complex vapor mixtures using versatile DNA-carbon nanotube chemical sensor arrays. ACS Nano. doi: 10.1021/nn400359c

Kwak, J.; Grigsby, C.C.; Rizki, M.M.; Preti, G.; Köksal, M.; Josue, J.; Yamazaki, K.; Beauchamp, G.K. (2012) Differential binding affinities between volatile ligands and urinary proteins due to genetic variation in mice. Physiology and Behavior, 107, 112-120.

Khamis, S.M.; Jones, R.A.; Johnson, A.T.C.; Preti, G.; Kwak, J.; Gelperin, A. (2012) DNA-decorated carbon nanotube-based FETs as ultrasensitive chemical sensors: Discrimination of homologues, structural isomers,and optical isomers. AIP Advances, 2, 022110.

Wise, P.M.; Eades, J.; Tjoa, S.; Fennessey, P.V.; Preti, G. (2011) Individuals reporting idiopathic malodor production: demographics and incidence of trimethylaminuria. American Journal of Medicine, 124, 1058-1063.

Kwak, J.; Preti, G. (2011) Volatile disease biomarkers in breath: a critique. Current Pharmaceutical Biotechnology, 12, 1067-1074.

Johnson, A.T.C.; Kahmis, S. M.; Preti, G.; Kwak, J.; Gelperin, A. (2010) DNA-coated nanosensors for breath analysis. IEEE Sensor Journal, 10, 159-166.

Kwak, J.; Willse, A.; Preti, G.; Yamazaki, K.; Beauchamp, G.K. (2010) In search of the chemical basis for MHC odourtypes. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 277, 2417-2425.

Preti, G.; Leyden, J.J. (2010) Genetic influences on human body odor: From genes to the axillae. Journal of Investigative Dermatology, 130, 344-346.

Wysocki, C.J.; Preti, G. (2010) Human pheromones: What’s purported, what’s supported. A Sense of Smell Institute White Paper. The Fragrance Foundation: New York.

Kwak, J.; Curran-Opiekun, M.; Matsumura, K.; Preti, G.; Yamazaki, K.; Beauchamp, G.K. (2009) Major histocompatibility complex-regulated odortypes: Peptide-free urinary volatile signals. Physiology & Behavior, 96, 184-188.

Miyazawa, T.; Gallagher, M.; Preti, G.; Wise, P.M. (2009) Odor detection of mixtures of homologous carboxylic acids and coffee aroma compounds by humans. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 57, 9895-98901.

Miyazawa, T.; Gallagher, M.; Preti, G.; Wise, P.M. (2009) Psychometric functions for ternary odor mixtures and their unmixed components. Chemical Senses, 34, 753-761.

Miyazawa, T.; Gallagher, M.; Preti, G.; Wise, P. M. (2009) Methodological factors in odor detection by humans. Chemosensory Perception, 2, 195-202.