Contact Information

(267) 519-4673
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Peihua Jiang


Associate Member, Monell Chemical Senses Center


Ph.D., Neurobiology; University of Pittsburgh

Research Summary

Until recently, it was thought that all mammals can detect the five basic tastes that humans can. Our work and others have showed that there are many exceptions to this general belief. Many mammalian species show specific taste loss due to the pseudogenization of taste receptor genes and loss of taste receptor function appears directly related to a change in diet. Understanding the precise relationship among taste receptor structure, dietary choice and the associated metabolic pathways constitutes one of my two main research interests.

The other line of my research aims to study adult taste stem cells. Taste cells regenerate constantly during an animal’s life, yet the identity of adult taste stem cells for replenishing taste epithelium remains elusive. I am interested in identifying reliable markers for adult taste stem cells and characterizing such cells subsequently. Current research projects include: 1) structure-function analysis of the mammalian sweet taste receptor T1R2/T1R3; 2) comparative genetics of sweet taste and carbohydrate metabolism in Carnivora; and 3) identification and characterization of adult taste stem cells. We utilize a broad range of approaches in these studies, including molecular, genetic, cellular, computational and imaging techniques.


Taste receptor, taste preferences, feeding behavior, carbohydrate metabolism, adult stem cells

Recent Publications

Tordoff, M.; Jiang, P.; Valmeki, S.; Aleman, T.; McCaughey, S. (In Press) Heightened avidity for trisodium pyrophosphate in mice lacking Tas1r3. Chemical Senses.

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.

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, 31, 992-1000.

Li, F.; Ponissery-Saidu, S.; Yee, K.K.; Wang, H.; Chen, M.L.; Iguchi, N.; Zhang, G.; Jiang, P.; Reisert, J.; Huang, L. (2013) Heterotrimeric G protein subunit Ggamma13 is critical to olfaction. Journal of Neuroscience, 33, 7975-7984.

Lee, R.J.; Xiong, G.; Kofonow, J.M.; Chen, B.; Lysenko, A.; Jiang, P.; et al. (2012) T2R28 taste receptor polymorphisms underlie susceptibility to upper respiratory infection. Journal of Clinical Investigation, 122, 4145-59.

Jiang, P.; Josue, J., Li, X.; Glaser, D.; et al. (2012) Reply to Zhao and Zhang: Loss of taste receptor function in mammals is directly related to feeding specializations. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA, 109, E1465-E1465.

Jiang, P.; Josue, J.; Li, X.; Glaser, D.; et al. (2012) Major taste loss in carnivorous mammals. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA, 109, 4956-4961.

Tordoff, M.G.; Alarcon, L.K.; Valmeki, S.; Jiang, P. (2012) T1R3: a human calcium taste receptor. Science Reports, 2, 496.

Liu, B.; Ha, M.; Meng, X.Y.; Kaur, T.; Khaleduzzaman, M.; Zhang, Z.; Jiang, P.; Li, X.; Cui, M. (2011) Molecular mechanism of species-dependent sweet taste toward artificial sweeteners. Journal of Neuroscience, 31, 11070-11076.

Cui, M.; Jiang, P.; Maillet, E.L.; Max, M.; Margolskee, R.F.; Osman, R. (2008) Molecular models of sweet taste receptors provide insights into function. In: Weerasinghe, D.K. & DuBois, G.E. (Eds.) Sweetness and sweeteners : biology, chemistry, and psychophysics. American Chemical Society, 117-132.

Jiang, P.; Cui, M.; Maillet, E.L.; Osman, R.; Max, M.; Margolskee, R.F. (2008) Making sense of the sweet taste receptor. In: Sweetness and sweeteners: biology, chemistry, and psychophysics. Weerasinghe, D.K. & DuBois, G.E. (Eds.), American Chemical Society, pp. 48-64.

Li, D.F.; Jiang, P.; Zhu, D.Y.; Hu, Y.; Max, M.; Wang, D.C. (2008) Crystal structure of Mabinlin II: a novel structural type of sweet proteins and the main structural basis for its sweetness. Journal of Structural Biology, 162, 50-62.