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Celine Riera, PhD

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Celine Riera, PhD

Celine Riera, PhD, is an assistant professor in the Diabetes and Obesity Research Institute and Department of Biomedical Sciences. Her research focus is on understanding the impact of sensory neurons in metabolic health in obesity, diabetes and the aging process. Obesity and aging are characterized by impaired tissue communication which lead to malfunction of metabolic tissues, and impaired health. Over the last decade, the central nervous system (CNS) has emerged as an important player in the control of many vital physiological functions to maintain global body homeostasis. Particularly, autonomic responses arising from the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems are orchestrated by extensive and often reciprocal connections between the hypothalamus and brainstem nuclei, allowing the adjustment of whole body homeostasis in response to variations in hormonal and metabolic cues. However, how changes in external conditions and sensory cues such as olfactory information are integrated in the system remain unclear. Additionally, the role of neural circuits originating from the dorsal root ganglion (DRG) which innervate many visceral organs including the pancreas remains poorly understood in the onset of diabetes. Research in the lab is focused on the identification of central and peripheral sensory neural circuits regulating metabolic balance upon nutritional overload and the aging process.

  • Doctorate: Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne, 2008
  • Post Doctorate: The Salk Institute for Biological Studies, 2012
  • Post Doctorate: University of California, Berkeley, 2016
  • Pathway Program Initiator Award Recipient, American Diabetes Association. Fellow transitioning to independence, 2015
  • Outstanding Postdoctoral Award, University of California, Berkeley Molecular and Cell Biology., 2014
  • Postdoctoral Fellowship, Swiss National Science Foundation., 2009
  • Predoctoral Fellowship Award, Nestlé Research., 2004

Click here for a list of peer-reviewed publications.

  • Riera CE, Vogel H, Simon SA, Damak S, le Coutre J. Sensory attributes of complex tasting divalent salts are mediated by TRPM5 and TRPV1 channels. J Neurosci. 2009 Feb 25;29(8):2654-2662.
  • Riera CE, Huising MO, Follett P, Leblanc M, Halloran J, Van Andel R, de Magalhaes Filho CD, Merkwirth C, Dillin A. TRPV1 pain receptors regulate longevity and metabolism by neuropeptide signaling. Cell. 2014 May 22;157(5):1023-1036.
  • Riera CE, Dillin A. Tipping the metabolic scales towards increased longevity in mammals. Nat Cell Biol. 2015 Mar;17(3):196-203.
  • Riera CE, Dillin A. Can aging be 'drugged'? Nat Med. 2015 Dec;21(12):1400-1405.
  • Riera CE, Dillin A. Emerging Role of Sensory Perception in Aging and Metabolism. Trends Endocrinol Metab. 2016 May;27(5):294-303.
  • Riera CE, Tsaousidou E, Halloran J, Follett P, Hahn O, Pereira MMA, Ruud LE, Alber J, Tharp K, Anderson CM, et al. The Sense of Smell Impacts Metabolic Health and Obesity. Cell Metab. 2017 Jul 5;26(1):198-211.e5.

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