310 Stocking Hall
Overview The bulk of my training prior to joining Cornell has been in Physics, Physiology and Neuroscience, thus I hope that I can bring something of a different viewpoint to the Department of Food Science. I work on the basic interactions between our body and the food we consume, and how this shapes what we choose to eat. The mammalian taste system consists of many complex events which take a simple receptor activation at the taste bud, to a rich and emotional response such as that elicited by our favorite foods. As yet little is known about the true nature or depth of these interactions. My lab will use state of the art biological techniques to elucidate the nature of some of these processes, and how they can in turn be swayed by factors such as our body’s physiology, an illness, or even by our mood.
I study the neurotransmitter interactions and signaling events which occur within the taste system. Our sense of taste is one of the strongest drives that we possess, and is inexorably linked to emotions, memories and our quality of life. It is one of our richest senses, and yet remains one of the most poorly understood. My research utilizes techniques from physiology, molecular biology and behavioral science to probe the mammalian taste system. I hope to investigate how obesity, the preeminent health concern of our time, interacts with our taste system, and thus influences the food that we select. I work with animal models, and with human taste, and aim to fully characterize the differences and similarities between the two.
Beginning in 2013, Robin will be responsible for the Sensory Evaluation of Foods course FDSC4100, and is designing a course based around the biology of the taste system, to be offered in the near future.