Celine Riera, Ph.D.

Post-doctoral Fellow

After obtaining a master degree in Chemistry and Chemical engineering from the French National Institute of Applied Sciences (INSA) in Rouen, France, I moved to Switzerland to study biology.  I completed my PhD training at the Swiss Federal Institute of technology of Lausanne (EPFL), in collaboration with the Nestle Research Center investigating the genetic pathways that encode mammalian chemosensory perception within gustatory papillae.

Later on, fascinated by the potential role of chemosensory circuits in regulating lifespan, I joined the Dillin lab for my postdoctoral studies. In the Dillin lab, the main focus of my work is to understand the involvement of sensory circuits in regulating metabolic health and lifespan in both nematodes and mice. Using our findings in the worm, we discovered an evolutionary conserved circuit recruiting peripheral sensory neurons originating from the dorsal root ganglia. These neurons are involved in detecting internal stress signals and can actively influence nutrient signaling in insulin-consuming tissues to alter longevity in mice.


Awards and Fellowships

2015- American Diabetes Association, Pathway Program Initiator Award recipient, fellow transitioning to independence

2014- UC Berkeley Molecular and Cell Biology, Outstanding postdoctoral award 

2009- Swiss National Science Foundation, Postdoctoral fellowship

2004- Nestle Research Predoctoral award




Riera, C.E., Merkwirth C., de Magalhaes Filho, C.D.and Dillin, A. (2016). Signaling Networks Determining Life Span for Volume 85 of the Annual Review of Biochemistry. Annu Rev Biochem. 2016 Jun 2;85:35-64

Riera, C.E., and Dillin, A. (2016). Emerging role of sensory perception in aging and metabolism (2015).Trends Endocrinol Metab. 2016 May;27(5):294-303.

Riera, C.E., and Dillin, A. (2015). Can aging be "drugged"? Nat. Med.2015 Dec 8;21(12):1400-5.

Riera, C.E., and Dillin, A. (2015). Tipping the metabolic scales towards increased longevity in mammals. Nat. Cell Biol. 2015 Feb 27;17(3):196-203.

Riera, C.E., Huising, M.O., Follett, P., Leblanc, M., Halloran, J., Van Andel, R., de Magalhaes Filho, C.D., Merkwirth, C., and Dillin, A. (2014). TRPV1 Pain Receptors Regulate Longevity and Metabolism by Neuropeptide Signaling. Cell 157, 1023–1036.

Published with comments in Cell 2014 May 22;157(5):1004-6, Nat Rev Neurosci. 2014 Jul;15(7):426, Nat Rev Drug Discov. 2014 Jul;13(7):495, CNS Neurol Disord Drug Targets. 2014;13(6):926.

Riera, C.E., Vogel, H., Simon, S.A., Damak, S., and le Coutre, J. (2009). Sensory attributes of complex tasting divalent salts are mediated by TRPM5 and TRPV1 channels. J. Neurosci. Off. J. Soc. Neurosci. 29, 2654–2662.

Riera, C.E., Menozzi-Smarrito, C., Affolter, M., Michlig, S., Munari, C., Robert, F., Vogel, H., Simon, S.A., and le Coutre, J. (2009). Compounds from Sichuan and Melegueta peppers activate, covalently and non-covalently, TRPA1 and TRPV1 channels. Br. J. Pharmacol. 157, 1398–1409.

Menozzi-Smarrito*, C., Riera, C.E.*, Munari, C., Le Coutre, J., and Robert, F. (2009). Synthesis and evaluation of new alkylamides derived from alpha-hydroxysanshool, the pungent molecule in szechuan pepper. J. Agric. Food Chem. 57, 1982–1989. *equal contribution

Riera, C.E., Vogel, H., Simon, S.A., Damak, S., and le Coutre, J. (2008). The capsaicin receptor participates in artificial sweetener aversion. Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun. 376, 653–657.

Riera, C.E., Vogel, H., Simon, S.A., and le Coutre, J. (2007). Artificial sweeteners and salts producing a metallic taste sensation activate TRPV1 receptors. Am. J. Physiol. Regul. Integr. Comp. Physiol. 293, R626–634.