Luis Saraiva

Adjunct Faculty


Adjunct Associate Member, Monell Chemical Senses Center
Principal Investigator – Associate Level, Sidra Medicine, Qatar


Ph.D., Genetics; University of Cologne, Germany

Research Summary

Our laboratory is interested in the molecular and neural mechanisms underlying the transformation of environmental and homeostatic cues in complex behaviors and physiological changes. In this context, a major line of research in our lab involves how the olfactory, metabolic and appetite systems interact, and how these interactions change with diet and disease. We also aim to understand how individual genetic variation, gender, age, and social experience impact these mechanisms. Another major line of research focuses on the hunt for specific genetic variants that give rise to rare neurological and metabolic diseases.

In our research, we collaborate with clinicians and employ an integrative strategy combining a wide range of established techniques (e.g., molecular biology, genetics, and behavior) with omics technologies (e.g., genomics and transcriptomics), and resorting to the genetic manipulation of both cell and animal models. Ultimately, we aim to advance basic science and translate our findings into new diagnostic and personalized treatment options for patients affected by neurological, endocrine and metabolic diseases.


olfaction, transcriptomics, neuroscience, genetics, appetite, obesity, behavioral analysis

Representative Publications

(†co-first, corresponding):

Segura, MLRT; Abou-Moussa, EH; Garabello, E; Nakahara, T; Makhlouf, M; […]; Logan, DW; Malnic, B; Scialdone, A; Saraiva, LR. A 3D transcriptomics atlas of the mouse nose sheds light on the anatomical logic of smell. Cell Rep (2021) 38, 110547.

Lee, EJ; Saraiva, LR; Hanchate, N; Ye, X; Asher, G; Ho, J; Buck, LB. Odor blocking of stress hormone responses. Sci Rep (2022) 12(1):8773

Huang, SSY; Makhlouf, M; AbouMoussa, EH; Ruiz Tejada Segura, ML; Mathew, LS; Wang, K; Leung, MC; Chaussabel, D; Logan, DW; Scialdone, A; Garand, M; Saraiva, LR. Differential regulation of the immune system in a brain-liver-fats organ network during short term fasting. Mol Metab (2020) 40:10138.

Saraiva, LR; Aguilera, FRM; Mezzavilla,M; Abou-Moussa, EH; Arayata, CJ; Makhlouf, M; Trimmer, C; Ibarra-Soria, X; Khan, M; van Gerven, L; Jorissen, M; Gibbs, M; O’Flynn, C; McGrane, S; Mombaerts, P; Marioni, JR; Mainland, JD; Logan, DW*. “A transcriptomic atlas of mammalian olfactory mucosae reveals an evolutionary influence on food odor detection in humans”. Sci Adv (2019) 5(7):eaax0396.

Saraiva, LR; Kondoh, K; Ye,X; Yoon, K-h; Hernandez, M; Buck LB. “Combinatorial effects of odorants on mouse behavior”. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA (2016) 113(23):E3300-6.

Saraiva, LR †; Ibarra-Soria†, X; Khan, M; Omura, M; Scialdone, A; Mombaerts, P; Marioni, JC; Logan, DW. “Hierarchical deconstruction of mouse olfactory sensory neurons: from whole mucosa to single-cell RNA-seq”. Sci Rep (2015) 5:18178.

Hussain, A†; Saraiva, LR †; Ferrero, SD†; Ahuja, G†; Krishna, VS; Liberles, SD; Korsching SI. “High affinity olfactory receptor for the death-associated odor cadaverine”. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA (2013) 110(48): 19579-84.

Saraiva, LR; Korsching, SI. “A novel olfactory receptor gene family in teleost fish”. Genome Res (2007) 17: 1448-57.

For a complete list of publications see: