Dr. Julie A. Mennella, Biopsychologist from the Monell Chemical Senses Center in the United States, will focus on the taste development & flavour preferences in children: “Sweet and Sour Tastes – From Inborn Responses to Contextual Learning in Foods.”
She obtained a Ph.D. from the Department of Behavioral Sciences at The University of Chicago in Chicago, IL. She joined the faculty at the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia, PA in 1990 where she is now a Member. Her major research interests include investigating the timing of sensitive periods in human flavor learning and growth; uncovering how children are living in different taste worlds than adults and their vulnerabilities to the current food environment as well as medication adherence; and the development of psychophysical tools to study individual variation in taste and avor perception.
In addition to her research, she founded a program at Monell Center that encourages under-represented minority high school and undergraduate students to pursue careers in science and medicine. Dr. Mennella has held a number of leadership positions in professional scientific societies and participated in working groups at the National Institutes of Health and other international scientific and health organizations.
She is the recipient of several grants from the National Institute of Deafness and Other Communication Disorders and the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development; the author or co-author of numerous peer-reviewed research papers and an internationally recognized speaker on the ontogeny of avor preferences and its implications for health and nutritional programming.