The Munger Lab

Steve Munger’s lab researches:

  • Mechanisms of alimentary chemosensation
  • Extraoral chemoreceptors and the regulation of metabolism
  • Olfactory detection of social cues

Odors, pheromones and taste stimuli contain important information about the quality and nutrient content of food, the suitability of mates, and the presence of predators or competitors. To detect these diverse chemical cues animals employ several distinct populations of chemosensory cells in the nose, mouth and gut, each of which expresses specialized receptors, channels and transduction cascades, though the physiological consequences of this molecular diversity remain poorly understood. In our lab we are working to understand how diverse chemosensory transduction mechanisms, including different taste and olfactory receptors, contribute to chemosensory function, impact ingestive and social behaviors, and interact with hormonal systems that regulate metabolism, nutrient response and homeostasis.

Picture from Munger Lab
Sensory cells in the mouse taste bud labeled for different signaling molecules.