Casey Donovan

Professor of Biological Sciences
Pronouns He / Him / His Email Office AHF 251 Office Phone (213) 740-2492


  • Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley, 1/1982
  • M.A. University of California, Berkeley, 1/1978
  • B.A. University of California, Berkeley, 1/1974
    • NRSA Posdoctoral Fellow, University of Michigan Medical School, 1982-1984
  • Tenure Track Appointments

    • Professor of Biological Sciences, University of Southern California, 01/31/2011 –
  • Summary Statement of Research Interests

    Our efforts are directed at understanding the mechanisms by which the body detects low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) and how it integrates that information to generate corrective responses. We are particularly interested in peripheral glucose sensors located in the gut, which play a prominent role in detecting small or slow changes in blood glucose. We have characterized various aspects of these sensory neurons, i.e. type, origin, metabolism, and have begun to exam their role in pathological states, e.g. diabetes. In collaboration with Dr. Alan Watts (Neuroscience) we are also examining the interaction between these peripheral glucose sensors and those located in the brain.

    Research Keywords

    glucose sensing,
    peripheral afferents, carbohydrate metabolism,

  • Journal Article

    • Routh, V. H., Donovan, C. M., Ritter, S. (2012). Hypoglycemia Detection. Translational Endocrinology & Metabolism/The Endocrine Society. Vol. 3 (4), pp. 47-88.
    • Oh, Y. T., Oh, K., Choi, Y. M., Jokiaho, A., Donovan, C. M., Choi, S., Kang, I., Youn, J. H. (2011). Continuous 24-h Nicotinic Acid Infusion in Rats Causes FFA Rebound and Insulin Resistance by Altering Gene Expression and Basal Lipolysis in Adipose Tissue. American Journal of Physiology: Endocrinology and Metabolism. Vol. 300 (6), pp. E1012-21.
    • Watts, A. G., Donovan, C. M. (2010). Sweet Talk In The Brain: Glucosensing, Neural Networks, and Hypoglycemic Counterregulation. Front. Neuroendocrinol.. Vol. 31 (1)
    • Donovan, C. M., Bohland, M. (2009). Hypoglycemic detection at the portal vein: Absent in humans or yet to be elucidated?. Diabetes. Vol. 58 (1), pp. 21-23.
    • Saberi, M., Bohland, M., Donovan, C. M. (2008). The Locus for Hypoglycemic Detection Shifts with the Rate of Fall in Glycemia: The Role of Portal-Mesenteric Glucose Sensors. Diabetes. Vol. 57, pp. 1380-1386.
    • Matveyenko, A. V., Bohland, M., Saberi, M., Donovan, C. M. (2007). Portal vein hypoglycemia is essential for full induction of hypoglycemia-associated autonomic failure with slow-onset hypoglycemia. Am J Physiol: Endocrinol Metab.. Vol. 293 (3), pp. E857-E864.
    • Fujita, S., Bohland, M., Sanchez-Watts, G., Watts, A. G., Donovan, C. M. (2007). Hypoglycemic detection at the portal vein is mediated by capsaicin-sensitive primary sensory neurons. American Journal of Physiology: Endocrinology & Metabolism. Vol. 293 (1), pp. E96-E101.
    • Gorton, L. M., Khan, A. M., Sanchez-Watts, G., Donovan, C. M., Watts, A. G. (2007). A role for the forebrain in mediating time-of-day differences in glucocorticoids counterregulatory responses to hypoglycemia in rats. Endocrinology.
    • Sumida, K., Urdiales, J. H., Donovan, C. (2006). Impact of flow rate on lactate uptake and gluconeogenesis in glucagon-stimulated perfused livers. American Journal of Physiology, Endocrinology & Metabolism/Highwire Press. Vol. 290(1), pp. E185-E191.
    • Sumida, K., Urdiales, J. H., Donovan, C. (2006). Lactate delivery (not oxygen) limits hepatic gluconeogenesis when blood flow is reduced. American Journal of Physiology, Endocrinology & Metabolism/Highwire Press. Vol. 290(1), pp. E192-E198.
    • Matveyenko, A., Donovan, C. (2006). Metabolic sensors mediate hypoglycemic detection at the portal vein. Diabetes/American Diabetes Association. Vol. 55, pp. 1276-1282.
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