The Riera Laboratory studies the neurocircuits controlling energy homeostatic processes in response to environmental cues. We investigate how sensory information is processed in the hypothalamus in response to predator smell, temperature changes and food cues. Our long-term goal is to understand how impaired processing of sensory information can alter metabolic health and contributes to the aging process. For example: Is the reduced ability to detect cold temperatures associated with decreased sympathetic activation of brown adipose tissue thermogenesis and/or white adipose tissue lipolysis and therefore increased weight gain? We use cell-specific viral vectors targeting brain neurons, neuron activity mapping, chemogenetic stimulation and neuron calcium imaging to examine the role of specific cell types in metabolism. We also use diet-induced obesity, diabetes and neurodegenerative disease models, including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease-like pathologies to examine the maladaptive consequences of neuronal dysfunction in disease.
The Riera Laboratory is affiliated with the Cedars-Sinai Center for Neural Sciences and Medicine, Board of Governors Regenerative Medicine Institute, Department of Biomedical Sciences and Diabetes and Obesity Research Institute.
My research is focused on the discovery of neural circuits regulating metabolic balance in the context of obesity, diabetes and the aging process. My lab studies the role of central and peripheral sensory neural circuits on metabolic health and aging. Our mission is to discover novel target genes playing a fundamental role in the onset of diabetes and obesity, and design preclinical strategies to ameliorate metabolic function in mouse models of disease."
Celine Riera, PhD
- Obesity and Type 2 diabetes: inter-individual differences in cold perception are directly associated with brown adipose tissue thermogenesis and resistance to weight gain in diet-induced obesity (image).
- Sex-specific regulation of thermogenesis and stress.
- Gene therapy to delay Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease in neurodegenerative models.
Collaborations & Resources
Meet Our Team
Learn more about the scientists, faculty members, investigators and other healthcare professionals of the Riera Laboratory, whose dedicated efforts lead to groundbreaking discoveries.
Jovanovic P, Riera CE.
Trends Endocrinol Metab. 2022 Apr;33(4):281-291.
Jovanovic P, Wang Y, Vit JP, Novinbakht E, Morones N, Hogg E, Tagliati M, Riera CE.
PLoS One. 2022 Mar 22;17(3):e0263074.
Makwana K*, Chodavarapu H*, Morones N, Chi J, Riera CE, Novinbakht E, Nguyen PT, Jovanovic P, Wang Y, Nguyen PT, et al
Mol Metab. 2021 Jan 5:101161.
Halloran J, Lalande A, Zeng M, Chodavarapu H, Riera CE.
Metabol Open. 2020 Oct 8;8:100060.
Contact the Riera Lab
127 S. San Vicente Blvd.
Advanced Health Sciences Pavilion, Suite A8305
Los Angeles, CA 90048