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Christian H. Lemon

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Christian H. Lemon

Associate Professor of Biology

Ph.D., Binghamton University, State University of New York
M.A., Binghamton University, State University of New York
B.S., University of Oklahoma
405-325-2365 (Phone)
405-325-6202 (Fax)
SRTC 1108



Sensory processing partly guides behaviors that promote protection and homeostasis. For instance, our ability to detect painful heat allows us to avoid touching hot surfaces that may induce tissue damage. On the other hand, the pleasurable sweet taste of sugar entices us to consume carbohydrate-laden foods that provide needed energy. How the brain assigns value to sensory stimuli to promote appropriate physiological and behavioral reactions remains only poorly understood.

In my lab we study molecular effectors and neural circuits implicated to participate in the computation of sensory value by the mammalian brain. Our studies focus on thermosensation and the sense of taste as model sensory modalities. Both of these modalities have strong ties to homeostasis and motivated behaviors, with thermal sensation involved in part with thermoregulation and taste intimately linked to control of feeding in diverse animals. My group investigates the neural processing of temperature and taste using a combination of neurophysiological, molecular, optogenetic, and behavioral methods. This work has implications for understanding how changes in sensory processing may arise and participate in disease states, such as ingestive disorders, and for developing therapeutic targets.

Representative Publications

  • Lemon, C.H., Norris, J.E., and Heldmann, B.A. 2019. The TRPA1 ion channel contributes to sensory-guided avoidance of menthol in mice. eNeuro 6(6), 17 October 2019, DOI:
  • Li, J. and Lemon, C.H. 2019. Mouse parabrachial neurons signal a relationship between bitter taste and nociceptive stimuli. The Journal of Neuroscience 39(9): 1631-1648. PMID: 30606758
  • Lemon, C.H. 2017. Modulation of Taste Processing by Temperature. American Journal of Physiology - Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology, 313(4): R305-R321. PMID: 28794101
  • Lemon, C.H., Kang, Y., and Li, J. 2016. Separate functions for responses to oral temperature in thermo-gustatory and trigeminal neurons. Chemical Senses, 41(5): 457-471. PMID: 26976122
  • Wilson, D.M. and Lemon, C.H. 2014.Temperature systematically modifies neural activity for sweet taste. Journal of Neurophysiology, 112 (7): 1667-1677. PMID: 24966301
  • Lemon, C.H. and Margolskee, R.F. 2009. Contribution of the T1r3 taste receptor to the response properties of central gustatory neurons. Journal of Neurophysiology, 101 (5): 2459-2471. PMID: 19279151