What the Nose Knows

Toby Rossman
Health & Fitness / Science

Course Description

The upper nasal passage is the organ of olfaction (i.e. it allows us to smell odors), and is necessary for all tasting, except for those of the tongue (salt, sugar, bitter, sour and umani). This is accomplished by a large number of proteins called olfactory receptors on the surface of cells. Each olfactory receptor reacts with different chemical oderants, and is encoded by a different gene. The family of olfactory receptor genes is the largest gene family in existence, indicating its importance. Humans have fewer active olfactory genes than do many other species, such as dogs. Recently, olfactory receptors have been found on cells in organs other than the nose. This means that some oderants play a role on other bodily functions, including wound healing and emotions.

About the Instructor

  • Toby G. Rossman, PhD, held the rank of tenured Professor of Environmental Medicine at New York University School of Medicine until 2009, when she ended her tenure. She was also Director of the Molecular and Genetic Toxicology research program. She has taught since 1968. She received research funding for the genetic effects of environmental carcinogens for over 30 years, mainly from the NIH. She has published over 120 peer-reviewed articles and edited one book and was on the editorial boards of four scientific journals. Rossman is a member of the American Chemical Society, Environmental Mutagen Society, Society of Toxicology, and American Association for Cancer Research. She consulted for the NIH, USEPA and is currently a part-time NYU Professor, Director of the Hudson Valley Science Café, lecturer at public venues, and a consultant to the legal profession on toxic torts.

Upcoming programs presented by Toby Rossman.

TypeNumberInstructorCourse TitleAdd to Cart
4wk W543AD Toby Rossman The Science of Aging: Extending Healthy Life
Fridays, January 17, 24, 31; February 7: 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm
One-Time WPL01064D Toby Rossman What the Nose Knows
Monday, January 6: 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm