Contact Information

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Sunil Kumar Sukumaran


Research Associate, Monell Chemical Senses Center

Laboratory of

Dr. Robert Margolskee


Ph.D., Genetics; University of Cologne, Germany

Research Summary

My work at Monell aims at understanding taste sensation with a focus on sweet taste. We believe there are alternate mechanisms for sweet taste sensation in addition to the one involving T1R2/T1R3 genes. We are studying these genes to see if they are present in the sweet taste cells and further to find out what role(s) they play in these cells. In addition, we are also doing experiments to identify all the genes expressed in taste cells using microarrays and deep sequencing using RNA amplified from single taste cells. Interesting genes identified by the above experiments will be studied further using molecular, knockout and/or transgenic approaches. We hope that these studies will help us design improved non-caloric sweeteners, provide a better understanding of nutrient sensing in the tongue and beyond and ultimately, treat metabolic disorders like diabetes and obesity.


Sweet taste, molecular biology, single cell genetics, deep sequencing