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Owen Chan

Owen Chan, PhD

Languages spoken: English

Academic Information

Departments Primary - Internal Medicine

Divisions: Endocrinology

Academic Office Information

Research Statement

Despite advances in insulin development and glucose monitoring technologies, hypoglycemia remains a serious complication of treating people with type 1 diabetes, especially in circumstances where they lose the ability to recognize when their blood glucoses levels are falling. Dr. Chan is renowned for his research in brain glucose sensing and the central mechanisms involved in the pathophysiology of hypoglycemia unawareness. His laboratory utilizes cutting-edge neuroscience techniques to study neural circuits involved in the regulation of peripheral glucose metabolism and to understand how brain metabolism is impacted by reoccurring exposure to hypoglycemia and in diabetes. His research shows that during hypoglycemia, when glucose supplies become limited, the brain adapts to using other types of fuel substrates besides glucose to meet its metabolic needs. This in turn, prevents the brain from detecting a fall in blood glucose levels, making the patients unaware of the fact that their blood glucose levels are declining. These discoveries have paved the way to developing novel treatment strategies to reduce or prevent hypoglycemia in patients with diabetes.

Education History

Postdoctoral Fellowship Yale School of Medicine
Postdoctoral Fellow
University of Toronto
Undergraduate University of Toronto
BSc (Hons)