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Robert Margolskee


Director and President, Monell Chemical Senses Center
Adjunct Professor, Department of Systems Pharmacology and Translational Therapeutics, University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine
Adjunct Professor, Department of Neuroscience, Mount Sinai School of Medicine
Adjunct Professor, Department of Pharmacology and Systems Therapeutics, Mount Sinai School of Medicine
Adjunct Professor, Department of Structural and Chemical Biology, Mount Sinai School of Medicine


M.D., Ph.D., Molecular Genetics; Johns Hopkins University

Research Summary

Dr. Margolskee’s long-standing research focus is on the molecular mechanisms of taste transduction, utilizing molecular biology, biochemistry, transcriptomics, structural biology, electrophysiology and transgenesis to study the mechanisms of signal transduction in mammalian taste cells. More recently he has been studying the chemosensory functions of taste signaling proteins in gut and pancreatic endocrine cells. Other projects in the Margolskee lab focus on taste stem cells and endocrine properties of taste cells.


taste receptor, molecular biology, gastrointestinal chemosensation, transduction, taste signalling proteins, endocrine function, stem cells

Recent Publications

Howitt, M.R.; Lavoie, S.; Michaud, M.; Blum, A.M.; Tran, S.V.; Weinstock, J.V.; Gallini, C.A.; Redding, K.; Margolskee, R.F.; Osborne, L.C.; Artis, D.; Garrett, W.S. (2016) Tuft cells, taste-chemosensory cells, orchestrate parasite type 2 immunity in the gut. Science, 351, 1329-33. doi: 10.1126/science.aaf1648

Lewandowski, B.C.; Sukumaran, S.K.; Margolskee, R.F.; Bachmanov, A.A. (2016) Amiloride-Insensitive Salt Taste Is Mediated by Two Populations of Type III Taste Cells with Distinct Transduction Mechanisms. J Neurosci, 36, 1942-53. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2947-15.2016

Sukumaran, S.K.; Yee, K.K.; Iwata, S.; Kotha, R.; Quezada-Calvillo, R.; Nichols, B.L.; Mohan, S.; Pinto, B.M.; Shigemura, N.; Ninomiya, Y.; Margolskee, R.F. (2016) Taste cell-expressed α-glucosidase enzymes contribute to gustatory responses to disaccharides. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 113, 6035–40. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1520843113

Glendinning, J.I.; Stano, S.; Holter, M.; Azenkot, T.; Goldman, O.; Margolskee, R.F.; Vasselli, J.R.; Sclafani, A. (2015) Sugar-induced cephalic-phase insulin release is mediated by a T1r2+T1r3-independent taste transduction pathway in mice. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. doi: 10.1152/ajpregu.00056.2015.

Takai, S.; Yasumatsu, K.; Inoue, M.; Iwata, S.; Yoshida, R.; Shigemura, N.; Yanagawa, Y.; Drucker, D.J.; Margolskee, R.F.; Ninomiya, Y. (2015) Glucagon-like peptide-1 is specifically involved in sweet taste transmission. FASEB J, 29, 2268-80. doi: 10.1096/fj.14-265355.

Yoshida, R.; Noguchi, K.; Shigemura, N.; Jyotaki, M.; Takahashi, I.; Margolskee, R.F.; Ninomiya, Y. (2015) Leptin suppresses mouse taste cell responses to sweet compounds. Diabetes. pii: db141462.

Jiang, P.; Josue-Almqvist, J.; Jin, X.; Li, X.; Brand, J.; Margolskee, R.; Reed, D.; Beauchamp, G. (2014) The bamboo-eating giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) has a sweet tooth: Behavioral and molecular responses to compounds that taste sweet to humans. PLOS ONE, 9, e93043.

Kokrashvili, Z.; Yee, K.K.; Ilegems, E.; Iwatsuki, K.; Li, Y.; Mosinger, B.; Margolskee, R.F.. (2014) Endocrine taste cells. British Journal of Nutrition, 2, 1-7.

Lee, R.J.; Kofonow, J.M.; Rosen, P.L.; Siebert, A.P.; Chen, B.; Doghramji, L.; Xiong, G.; Adappa, N.D.; Palmer, J.N.; Kennedy, D.W.; Kreindler, J.L.; Margolskee, R.F.; Cohen, N.A. (2014) Bitter and sweet taste receptors regulate human upper respiratory innate immunity. Journal of Clinical Investigation, 124, 1393-1405. doi: 10.1172/JCI72094

Parker, M.R.; Feng, D.; Chamuris, B.; Margolskee, R.F. Expression and nuclear translocation of glucocorticoid receptors in type 2 taste receptor cells. Neurosci Lett, 571, 72-7. doi: 10.1016/j.neulet.2014.04.047.

Ren, W.; Lewandowski, B.C.; Watson, J.; Aihara, E.; Iwatsuki, K.; Bachmanov, A.A.; Margolskee, R.F.; Jiang, P. (2014) Single Lgr5- or Lgr6-expressing taste stem/progenitor cells generate taste bud cells ex vivo. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 111, 16401-6. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1409064111.

Lee, R.J.; Chen, B.; Redding, K.M.; Margolskee, R.F., Cohen, N.A.(2013) Mouse nasal epithelial innate immune responses to Pseudomonas aeruginosa quorum-sensing molecules require taste signaling components. Innate Immunity. (Electronic Citation) doi: 10.1177/1753425913503386

Li, Y.; Kokrashvili, Z.; Mosinger, B.; Margolskee, R.F. (2013) Gustducin couples fatty acid receptors to GLP-1 release in colon. American Journal of Physiology, Endocrinology and Metabolism. doi: 10.1152/ajpendo.00471.2012

Mosinger, B.; Redding, K.M.; Parker, M.R.; Yevshayeva, V.; Yee, K.K.; Dyomina, K.; Li, Y.; Margolskee, R.F.. (2013) Genetic loss or pharmacological blockade of testes-expressed taste genes causes male sterility. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, USA, 110, 12319-12324.

Yee, K.K.; Li, Y.; Redding, K.M.; Iwatsuki, K.; Margolskee, R.F.; Jiang, P. (2013) Lgr5-EGFP Marks Taste Bud Stem/Progenitor Cells in Posterior Tongue. Stem Cells. doi:10.1002/stem.1338.

Zukerman, S.; Glendinning, J.I.; Margolskee, R.F.; Sclafani, A. (2013) Impact of T1r3 and Trpm5 on carbohydrate preference and acceptance in C57BL/6 mice. Chemical Senses, 38, 421-437.

Glendinning, J.I.; Gillman, J.; Zamer, H.; Margolskee, R.F.; Sclafani, A. (2012) The role of T1r3 and Trpm5 in carbohydrate-induced obesity in mice. Physiology and Behavior, 107, 50-58.

Yee, K.K.; Sukumaran, S.K.; Kotha, R.; Gilbertson, T.A.; Margolskee, R.F. (2011) Glucose transporters and atp-gated k+ (katp) metabolic sensors are present in type 1 taste receptor 3 (t1r3)-expressing taste cells. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 108, 5431-5436.

Murata, Y.; Yasuo, T.; Yoshida, R.; Obata, K.; Yanagawa, Y.; Margolskee, R.F.; Ninomiya, Y. (2010) Action potential-enhanced ATP release from taste cells through hemichannels. Neurophysiology, 104, 896-901.

Reed, D.R.;Margolskee, R.F. (2010) Gustation genetics: Sweet gustducin! Chemical Senses, 35, 549-550.

Yoshida, R.; Okhuri, T.; Jyotaki, M.; Yasuo, T.; Horio, N.; Yasumatsu, K.; Sanematsu, K.; Shigemura, N.; Yanamato, T.; Margolskee, R.F.; Ninomiya, Y. (2010) Endocannabinoids selectively enhance sweet taste. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, 107, 935-939.

Lab Staff

Bedrich Mosinger (MD, PhD) – Senior Research Associate
Karen Yee (PhD) – Research Associate
Sunil Sukumaran (PhD) – Research Associate
Masafumi Jotaki (PhD) – Postdoctoral Fellow
Yumei Qin (PhD) – Postdoctoral Fellow
Kevin Redding (MS) – Senior Research Specialist
Ramana Kotha (MS) – Junior Research Specialist