CDE: [The Dean’s Speaker Series] Solitary Chemosensory Cells are Immune Sentinels for Mucosal Infection and Inflammation

May, 2020
10:00 AM-11:00 AM

Virtually via BlueJeans

Time: 10:00-11:00 am
Registration: This virtual lecture will begin promptly at 10:00 am via BlueJeans.
CE Credits: 1.0 lecture credits


The talk is about an epithelial cell type called solitary chemosensory cell (SCC) and its role as sentinel cell for bacterial infection or airways and periodontal tissue. SCCs participate in the innate immunity of these mucosae and are a novel key element in the defense against bacterial invasion. I’ll introduce the taste system, then I’ll talk about SCC at molecular and functional levels and I’ll end the talk with present and future considerations about SCCs as pharmacological targets to treat rhino-sinusitis and periodontitis.


Participants will learn about the chemical senses and their link to inflammation and innate immunity in nasal and oral mucosa. In particular, the contribution of the taste transduction signaling cascade to detect and trigger immune responses against bacteria.


Dr. Marco Tizzano is an Assistant Member at Monell Chemical Senses Center, Philadelphia. In 2017, he was appointed Adjunct Assistant Professor, Basic & Translational Sciences – Penn Dental Medicine.

Dr. Tizzano research is aimed toward a better understanding of the function of extraoral taste receptors (T2Rs) and solitary chemosensory cells (SCCs). Several different lines of ongoing research explore how activation of SCCs and taste receptors in nasal and gingival mucosae triggers innate immune system responses that protect against bacterial invasion.

The ultimate goal of his research is to develop novel targets for pharmacological intervention of chronic respiratory diseases, periodontitis, cancer and neuropathic pain.

Dr. Tizzano worked as a chef for 7 years in two Italian restaurants.

University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine is an ADA CERP Recognized Provider. ADA CERP is a service of the American Dental Association to assist dental professionals in identifying quality providers of continuing dental education. ADA CERP does not approve or endorse individual courses or instructors, nor does it imply acceptance of credit hours by boards of dentistry.

University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine designates this activity for 1.0 continuing education credits.