Suresh Viswanathan
SUNY College of Optometry
33 West 42nd Street New York, NY 10036
(212) 938 - 5592

Research Description


Research in the Viswanathan lab focuses on developing tests for the early detection of neuronal dysfunction in glaucoma and understanding some of the early mechanisms that contribute to neuronal cell death. These investigations use electrophysiological, psychophysical and in vivo imaging techniques.



University of Houston, PhD, 2000, Physiological Optics

Pacific University, MS, 1992, Clinical Optometry

Elite School of Optometry, BS, 1990, Optometry

Career History


2013-present: Chairman, Department of Biological and Vision Science, State University of New York, College of Optometry

2013-present: Associate Professor, SUNY College of Optometry

2006-2012: Associate Professor, Indiana University School of Optometry

2000-2006: Assistant Professor, Indiana University School of Optometry



Peer Reviewed

Beazley M, Hu S, Viswanathan S, Bradshaw H, Kelly M, Straiker A. GPR18-based signaling system regulates IOP in murine eye. British Journal of Pharmacology. Accepted February 2013.

Bach M, Brigell MG,·Hawlina M, Holder GE,·Johnson M, McCulloch DL,·Meigen T,·Viswanathan S. ISCEV standard for clinical pattern electroretinography (PERG) — 2012 update. Documenta Ophthalmologica. 2013:126;1-7.

Schallek J, McLellan G, Viswanathan S, Ts’o D. (2012) Retinal Intrinsic Optical Signals in a Cat Model of Primary Congenital Glaucoma. Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science. Investigative Ophthalmology Vision Science, 1012:53:1971-81.

Weber AJ, Viswanathan S, Ramanathan C, Harman CD. (2010) Combined application of BDNF to the eye and brain enhances ganglion cell survival and function in the cat after optic nerve injury. Investigative Ophthalmology Vision Science, 51, 327-34.

Weber AJ, Harman CD, Viswanathan S. Effects of optic nerve injury, glaucoma, and neuroprotection on the survival, structure, and function of ganglion cells in the mammalian retina. J Physiol. 2008: 586;4393-400.

Simpson MC, Viswanathan S. Comparison of uniform field and pattern electroretinograms of humans. Journal of Modern Optics. 2007: 54:1281-1288.

Harrison WW, Viswanathan S, Malinovsky VE. Multifocal Pattern Electroretinogram: Cellular Origins and Clinical Implications. Optometry and Vision Science. 2006:83; 473-485.

Viswanathan S, Frishman LJ, Robson JG. Inner-retinal contributions to the photopic sinusoidal flicker electroretinogram of macaques. Documenta Ophthalmologica. 2002,105:223-242.

Hood DC, Frishman LJ, Saszik SM, Viswanathan S. Retinal origins of the primate multifocal ERG: Implications for the human response. Investigative Ophthalmology and Vision Science. Investigative Ophthalmology Vision Science 2002;43:1673-1685.

Harwerth RS, Crawford MLJ, Frishman LJ, Viswanathan S, Smith EL III, Carter-Dawson L. Visual field defects and neural losses from experimental glaucoma. Progress in Retinal and Eye Research. 2002;21:91-125.

Hood DC, Bearse MA, Sutter EE, Viswanathan S, Frishman LJ. The Optic nerve head component of the monkey’s multifocal electroretinogram. Vision research. 2001;41:2029-41

Viswanathan S, Frishman LJ, Robson JG, Walters JW. The photopic negative response of the flash electroretinogram in primary open angle glaucoma. Investigative Ophthalmology and Vision Science. 2001; 42: 514-522.

Frishman LJ, Saszik S, Harwerth RS, Viswanathan S, Li Y, Smith EL III, Robson JG, Barnes G. Effects of experimental glaucoma in macaques on the multifocal ERG. Documenta Ophthalmologica. 2000;100:231-251.

Viswanathan S, Frishman LJ, Robson JG. The uniform field and pattern electroretinogram in macaques with experimental glaucoma: removal of spiking activity. Investigative Ophthalmology and Vision Science. 2000;41:2797-2810.

Hood DC, Greenstein V, Frishman LJ, Holopigian K, Viswanathan S, Seiple W, Ahmed J, Robson JG. Identifying inner retinal contributions to the human multifocal ERG. Vision Research. 1999;39:2285-2291.

Hood DC, Frishman LJ, Viswanathan S, Ahmed J, Robson JG. Evidence for a ganglion cell contribution to the primate electroretinogram (ERG): effects of TTX on the multifocal ERG in macaque. Visual Neuroscience. 1999;16:411-416.
Viswanathan S, Frishman LJ, Robson JG, Harwerth RS, Smith EL III. The photopic negative response of the macaque electroretinogram: reduction by experimental glaucoma. Investigative Ophthalmology and Vision Science. 1999;40:1124-1136.

Book chapters


Weber AJ, Viswanathan S. The primate model of experimental glaucoma. In: Glaucoma: Mechanisms and management. Shields MB, Tombran-Tink J, Barnstable CJ (editors). Humana Press. 2008.

Viswanathan S. General Physiology. Review questions for the NBEO examination, part one. In: Lakshminarayana V, Bennett ES. Butterworth-Heinemann, 63-78, 2006.

Pitman RJ, Viswanathan S, Yolton RL. Introduction to special non-invasive tests for the assessment of vision in the elderly patient. In: Rosenbloom AA, Morgan MW. Vision and Aging (2ed). Butterworth-Heinemann, 367-402, 1992.



Doctor of Optomety program at SUNY College of Optometry, New York

Human Bioscience I – Cell, tissue organ histology and physiology
Human Bioscience II – Systems physiology
Human Bioscience III – Systems physiology and pathology

Doctor of Optomety program at SUNY College of Optometry, New York

Proseminar I – Retinal anatomy and physiology

Doctor of Optometry program at Indiana University, Bloomington

Systems Approach to Biomedical Sciences
Vision Science
Integrative Optometry

Graduate program in Vision Science at Indiana University, Bloomington

Visual Neurophysiology
Vision Science graduate seminars
Ethical Issues in Scientific Research
Critical Analysis of Peer reviewed Papers in Vision Research
Vision and Aging
Advanced topics in Visual Psychophysics
Classics in Physiological Optics

National and international programs

2013: International workshop on animal visual electrophysiology, International society for Clinical Electrophysiology Annual Meeting, Chongqing, China.
2012: Nineteenth Annual Teaching Research Ethics Workshop, Poynter Center, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN.
2012: Animal electrophysiology training course/workshop, ARVO course, Ft. Lauderdale, FL.
2011: Training course of ERG in clinical service and in research, Chongqing, China.
2010: International workshop on animal visual electrophysiology, International society for Clinical Electrophysiology Annual Meeting, Fremantle, Australia.
2005, 2007: Neurophysiology of the visual system, Optometry department, Ramkhamhaeng University, Bangkok, Thailand.

Graduate students


Mike P. Venable, M.S. IU School of Optometry, Summer 2002 - Chair
   Current position – Exercise physiologist, U.S. Navy.

Wendy Watkins, M.S. IU School of Optometry, Summer 2005 – Chair
   Current position – Faculty, Arizona college of Optometry, Midwestern University.

Samuel Nava – PhD. Indiana University Biology Department Summer 2009 - Member
   Current position – Postdoctoral fellow Harvard University (John Dowling lab)

Anthony Van Alstine, M.S. IU School of Optometry, Fall 2012– Chair
   Current position – Ocular Disease/Primary Care resident VA medical Center, Columbia, SC.

Verleen McSween, PhD. IU School of Optometry, (expected 2013) – Chair

Michael Klein, M.S. IU School of Optometry, (expected 2013) – Chair

Laura Pardon, M.S. IU School of Optometry, (expected 2013) – Chair

Professional Service


Editorial Board Member, Documenta Ophthalmologica 2008-present

Editorial Board Member, Journal of Optometric Education 2010-2012

Member, ISCEV Committee for PERG Standards 2012

Journal reviewer 

Current Eye Research
Documenta Ophthalmologica
Experimental Eye Research
Graefes Archives of Opthalmology
IEEE Transactions on Neural Networks
Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science 
Journal of Optical Society of America
Medical and Biological Engineering and Computing
Optometry and Vision Science
Vision Research
Visual Neuroscience

Diplomate program of the Vision Science, American Academy of Optometry

Chair 2012-2014
Vice chair 2010-2012

Vision Science section, American Academy of Optometry

Chair 2008-2010
Vice chair 2006-2008

Admittance committee, American Academy of Optometry, member 2005-2011

Scientific Program Committee, American Academy of Optometry, member 2010-present

National Board of Examiners in Optometry exam development committee, member 2007-2009

Continuing education lectures for optometrists 2000-present.

Grant reviewing


Medical Research Council, UK
National Science Foundation
U.S. State Department
Australian Research Council
American Federation of Aging Research

Professional affiliation


Optometric Glaucoma society (elected 2007)   2007-present
Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology  1992-present
American Academy of Optometry (fellow since 2000)     1996-present
International Society for the Clinical Electrophysiology of Vision  2001-present
Society for Neuroscience   2001-present

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