The University of Florida Center for Smell and Taste is excited to announce the addition of three new members to its university wide team.
Dr. Jeremy McIntyre, assistant professor of neuroscience, Dr. Yu Wang, assistant professor of food chemistry, and Dr. Riu Xiao, assistant professor of aging and geriatric research, are each working on exciting new chemosensory research.
“Broadly, my laboratory interested in the molecular and cellular mechanisms that underlie the sense of smell,” McIntyre said. “Because the sense of smell is an important regulator of the quality of our lives, and the loss of the sense of smell can have dramatic negative consequences.”
His lab focuses on understanding genetic mutations affecting the function of olfactory sensory neurons found in the nose and in neurons found in the olfactory bulb. Defects in ion channel function can cause a loss of the sense of smell, and better understanding of those functions can help identify ways to correct and treat smell loss.
Dr. Wang’s research focuses on flavor profile and flavor modulation using natural product analytics, human psychophysics and bioinformatics tools. Mass spectrometry (MS), nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) as well as organic synthesis are used for flavor qualification and quantification. Unknown flavor compounds and modulators are identified in her lab using analytical techniques combined with flavor re-engineering experiments.
Dr. Wang’s lab is located in the UF Citrus Research and Education Center in Lake Alfred, Fla.
Dr. Xiao’s lab seeks to understand “the fundamental biology of the interactions between genetic factors and environmental factors in the process of animal aging.
“How do animals perceive and respond to environmental cues such as temperature and food throughout their lives?What are the functions of membrane ion channels and receptors in aging? How do aging-related transcription factors integrate distinct sensory inputs?” Xiao asked.
His lab studies molecular genetics, lifespan and stress assays, calcium and fluorescence imaging, protein biochemistry, and electrophysiology in C. elegans, a type of nematode.