Diet selection is an undeniably important part of maintaining health, but due to the complexity of the physiological and environmental factors that contribute to food choice, it is still poorly understood. Foods considered rewarding are often over-consumed, while others, such as bitter foods, are avoided.
We have been exploring how orosensory and gut feedback contribute to food acceptance and intake, most recently in reference to salivary proteins and bitter foods. Under normal feeding and drinking conditions, taste compounds must mix with saliva before reaching their receptor targets, setting the stage for potential modulation of the taste signal at its most fundamental level.
Our lab is interested in how changes in salivary proteins may alter diet acceptability especially for bitter diets. A large number of nutritionally significant food sources contain bitter phytochemicals, thus understanding bitter taste perception can lead to strategies for influencing food selection.
The lab is currently searching for undergraduate and graduate students. Please contact us for more information: