Robert Donati, PhD

Associate Professor of Optometry





Why ICO?

I decided to join ICO because I saw a faculty whose primary goal was to develop the most well-rounded optometric clinicians possible and a student body that was up to the challenge. If that sounds like your future, then ICO is the place for you.


Dr. Donati joined the faculty at ICO in 2004. Since that time he has been the course director and instructor in the first year human physiology, pathology, and immunology course sequence. He has served on and chaired numerous committees throughout the college. He has been involved in research on the cellular basis for depression and also research on the importance of macular pigment.

Special Interests

Anatomy, cell biology, physiology, immunology, neurobiology of depression


1998 University of Illinois-Chicago, PhD
1989 University of Chicago, BA


2004-present Illinois College of Optometry

Awards & Honors

Professional Organizations

Member, Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology
Member, American Association for the Advancement of Science


Donati, R.J., and Wyles, E. (2016). A Comparison of the MacuScope and QuantifEye Macular Pigment Densitometers in Two Distinct Population Types. Clinical and Refractive Optometry 27(2): 39-44.

Donati, R.J , Schappi, J., Czysz, A.H., Jackson, A., Rasenick, M.M. (2015). Differential effects of antidepressants escitalopram versus lithium on Gs alpha membrane relocalization. BMC Neuroscience, 16:40.

Fu, C., Costafreda, S.  Sankar, A., Adams, T., Rasenick, M.M., Liu, P., Donati, R., Maglanoc, L., Horton, P., and Marangell, L.B. (2015). Multimodal Functional and Structural Neuroimaging Investigation of Major Depressive Disorder following Treatment with Duloxetine. BMC Psychiatry, 15:82.

Maino, D.M., Viola, S.G., and Donati, R. (2009). The Etiology of Autism. Optom. Vis. Dev., (40)3: 150-156. Donati, R.J., Maino, D.M., Bartell, H., and Kieffer, M. (2009). Polypharmacy and the Lack of Oculo-Visual Complaints from those with Mental Illness and Dual Diagnosis (MI/ID). Optometry, 80(5):249-254.

Dave, R.H., Saengsawang, W., Yu, J-Z., Donati, R. and Rasenick, M.M. (2009). Heterotrimeric G-proteins interact directly with cytoskeletal components to modify microtubule-dependent cellular processes. NeuroSignals, 17:100-108

Donati, R.J. and Rasenick, M.M. (2008). “Lipid rafts,” G proteins and the etiology of and treatment for depression: progress toward a depression biomarker. Future Neurology 3(5): 511-514.

Donati, R.J., Dwivedi, Y., Roberts, R.C., Conley, R.R., Pandey, G.N., and Rasenick, M.M. (2008). Post-mortem brain tissue of depressed suicides reveals increased Gsα localization in lipid raft domains where it is less likely to activate adenylyl cyclase. J. Neuroscience, 28(12): 3042-3050.

Donati, R.J. and Rasenick, M.M. (2005). Chronic antidepressant treatment prevents accumulation of Gs in cholesterol-rich, cytoskeletal-associated, plasma membrane domains (lipid rafts). Neuropshychopharm. 30: 1238-1245.

Allen, J.A., Yu, J-Z., Donati, R.J. and Rasenick, M.M. (2005). Adrenergic Receptor Stimulation Promotes Gs Internalization from Lipid Rafts. Mol. Pharm. 67: 1493-1504.

Donati, R.J., Popova, J.S., Yu, J-Z., and Rasenick, M.M. (2004). Tubulin as a regulator of G protein signaling. In; Regulators of G-Protein Signaling, Part B : Methods in Enzymolgy 390:389-402.

Donati, R.J. and Rasenick, M.M. (2003) G protein signaling and the molecular basis of antidepressant action. Life Sciences 73: 1-17.

Donati, R.J., Thukral, C., and Rasenick, M.M. (2001) Chronic treatment of C6 glioma cells with antidepressant drugs results in a redistribution of Gs. Mol. Pharm. 59: 1426-1432.