I completed my thesis at the Nestlé Research Center, Switzerland in the Perception Physiology laboratory where I focused on the genetic pathways that encode mammalian chemosensory perception. In particular, I studied the transduction mechanisms responsible for the senses of taste and pungency at the papillae level.
In the Dillin lab, I am investigating how sensory perception modulates the aging process. Several lines of evidence suggest that sensory neurons conveying olfactory, gustatory and nociceptive signals affect lifespan in C. eleganspartially through insulin/IGF-1 signaling. Using C. elegans and mice as model organisms, I will investigate the putative role for olfactory, gustatory and somatosensory assessment of the environment in the modulation of lifespan and their associated metabolic consequences. How are these processes achieved and are these pathways conserved between worms and rodents? To clarify these questions, I aim to identify peripheral and central chemosensory molecules involved in the extended lifespan phenotype.
- Riera C.E., Menozzi-Smarrito C., Affolter M., Michlig S., Munari C., Robert F., Vogel H., Simon S.A. & le Coutre J. Covalent and Non-Covalent Ligand Interactions in TRPA1 and TRPV1 Channels with spicy molecules from Sichuan and Melegueta peppers. Br. J. Pharmacol., 2009 Aug; 157(8):1398-409
- Riera C.E., Vogel H., Simon S.A., Damak S. and le Coutre J. Sensory attributes of complex tasting divalents salts are mediated by TRPM5 and TRPV1 channels. J Neurosci. 2009 Feb 25;29(8):2654-62.
- Menozzi-Smarrito C*, Riera CE*, Munari C, le Coutre J. and Robert F. Synthesis of new TRPA1 agonists derived from a-hydroxy-sanshool. J Agric Food Chem. 2009 Feb 11. *These authors contributed equally to this work.
- Riera C.E., Vogel H., Simon S.A., Damak S. and le Coutre J. The capsaicin receptor participates in artificial sweetener aversion. Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun. 2008, Nov 28;376(4):653-7.
Riera C.E., Vogel H., Simon S.A. and le Coutre J. Artificial sweeteners and salts producing a metallic taste sensation activate TRPV1 receptors. Am. J. Physiol. 2007 aug; 293 (2): 626-34.