University of Vermont

University Communications

RONA J. DELAY

Associate Professor
Biology
Arts & Sciences
Phone:(802)656-4086
Email Address:Rona.Delay@uvm.edu
Public Relations:Josh Brown (802)656-3039 joshua.e.brown@uvm.edu
Specialty:sensory receptors, taste and smell, genetics
Biography:Delay is co-director of the Vermont Genetics Network at UVM, a three-year, statewide project funded by the National Institutes of Health. She also is conducting research on the biophysics of odors via UVM's Center of Biomedical Research Excellence, which was funded by a five-year, $11 million grant from the National Institutes of Health.Delay's laboratory research centers on understanding how sensory receptors change or transduce information about the external world into a language the brain can understand. She focuses on the chemical sense of smell. Embedded in the membrane of the nasal cavity cilia are specific proteins or receptors that recognize certain chemical motifs such that they bind to certain molecules. When an odorant is bound to its receptor protein, that activates a tightly bound G protein inside the cell. This activates a second message cascade that leads to the transfer of odor information to the central nervous system. Several second messenger cascades have been shown to be involved in odor transduction. Her current research is directed at understanding the second messenger cascades involved in odor transduction and how these pathways are modulated by GnRH and dopamine. In addition, she has conducted and published studies on the basal cells in taste buds. Her research has appeared in publications including the Journal of Neuroscience.