Our team

Get to know us

About AbScent

AbScent is a charity registered in England and Wales, Number 1183468. We are here to provide the best support and trusted information to anyone affected by anosmia or smell disorders.

Supported by a distinguised advisory board and led by Trustees currently working in the fields of medicine and research, we make a point of only sharing strategies and information based on peer-reviewed scientific evidence. We work hard to create safe and supportive environments where our members feel heard and enabled by shared experience.

Our Trustee Board is a group of people with a common purpose, all of whom give their time for free.

Information, current research updates, webinars, advice and support on our website and within our Facebook communities is provided free of charge and is open to everyone. This is only made possible by the generosity of our members, customers and supporters and we recieve no funding from government.

Now, meet the team!


Meet the Executive Director

Sarah headshot.jpg     Sarah Oakley


Sarah joins us from the Macular Society where she was the Head of National Programs and responsible for the strategic development and delivery of services that provided information, support and practical advice to people affected by Macular disease. Prior to that, she was Director of the Aroma company, a specialist marketing agency focused on the sense of smell where she developed a broad knowledge base in the arena of scent and olfaction and the impact the sense of smell has on our daily lives. We look forward to her guidance in bringing AbScent into a bright and sustainable future. 


Meet our newest board member

Jane K Parker     Dr Jane K Parker


Dr Jane Parker is the Founder and Director of The Flavour Centre, located at the University of Reading, and she has a particular interest in identifying the molecules which trigger parosmia. Jane is also involved with the GCCR, identifying smell loss as a Covid-19 symptom. She and Chrissi Kelly have been working together on a Parosmia project at the University of Reading since 2019. We are delighted to welcome Jane to the AbScent board.

Meet the board

Chrissi Kelly

Chrissi lost her sense of smell in 2012. Since then she has supported thousands of other people with smell loss through smell training. Chrissi has taken courses with Professor Thomas Hummel, the author of the first research paper on smell training at the University of Dresden, Germany. Her techniques, used alongside smell training kits, have helped people to reconnect with their recovering sense of smell. Chrissi also speaks at conferences, runs workshops, online events and private sessions to support people with the condition.

Miriam Block

Miriam is a Trustee of AbScent. She lives in California, where she has been in the tech scene for over thirty years, most recently with Apple and O'Reilly Media. 

Simon Gane

Trustee Simon Gane FRCS(ORL-HNS), is a Consultant Rhinologist and ENT Surgeon at the Royal National Throat, Nose and Ear Hospital.

AbScent Advisory Board

We are fortunate to have the support of some of the most important names in olfactory research and allied fields:

Duika Burges Watson, PhD, Inst. of Health and Society, Newcastle University; Altered Eating Network, Newcastle, UK

Professor Claire Hopkins, Guy's and St Thomas' Hospitals, London and King's College, London, UK and President of the British Rhinological Society

Professor Thomas Hummel, Universitätsklinikum Carl Gustav Carus, Dresden, GE

Johan Lundstrom, PhD, Senior researcher, Karolinska Institute, Dept of Clinical Neuroscience, Stockholm, SE, and Associate Member, Monell Chemical Senses Center, Philadelphia, PA, USA

Joel Mainland, PhD, Associate Member, Monell Chemical Senses Center, Philadelphia, PA, USA

Dr Jane K Parker, University of Reading, Founder and Director of The Flavour Centre

Robert Pellegrino, PhD, University of Tennessee, Department of Food Science & Technology, Knoxville, TN, USA

Nancy Rawson, PhD, Associate Member, Monell Chemical Senses Center, Philadelphia, PA, USA

Professor Barry Smith, School of Advanced Study, University of London, London, UK