Ralph Gundel, OD
SUNY College of Optometry
33 West 42nd Street New York, NY 10036

Research Description

My research experience spans a wide range of contact lens applications including the design and utilization of both rigid an soft lens materials, as well as the contact lens management of individuals with astigmatism, bifocal correction, dry eye, irregular cornea (i.e., keratoconus), as well as post corneal surgery patients.  Most recently I have been investigating the assessment of visual function with contact lens correction and the potential role of anti-inflammatory agents in the management of keratoconus patients.


Bronx High School of Science, 1973

State University of New York at Stony Brook, BS, 1977

State University of New York, College of Optometry, OD 1981

Professional Experience

Aug. 1981- Dec1982:  
Health Insurance Plan of New York, Brooklyn, New York
Eyesite Optical Services, Merrick, Long Island, New York
General eye examinations, spectacle dispensing, and contact lens fittings.

Jan. 1983-May 1984:
American Hydron, Woodbury, Long Island, New York
Senior Research Optometrist: Design and execution of internal clinical studies; eye care services for employee base of over 800 individuals; day to day management of clinic facilities.

May. 1984-July 1989:
Allergan Hydron- Woodbury, Long Island, New York
Director of Clinical Research: Oversee staff of two Optometrists, two Opticians, and optical consultant; design and implement both internal and external clinical studies; liaison with R&D on new product development; provide regulatory assistance; aid in preparation of FDA submissions; serve as Medical Device Reporting Chairperson.

Aug. 1989-June 1991:
SUNY College of Optometry, New York City
Assistant Professor: Restructure Contact Lens laboratory sequence; clinical direct patient care.

July 1991-June 1994:
SUNY College of Optometry, New York City
Chief of Contact Lens Service: Direct professional staff of fifteen full- and part-time optometrists and support staff; assist in creation of one-year residency program in Contact Lens.

July 1994-Present:
SUNY College of Optometry, New York City
Master’s level graduate faculty advisor: Program supervisor: Cornea and Contact Lens Fellowship; Didactic lecturer and laboratory instructor (Contact Lens Hydrogel and Rigid Lenses: Basic Principals); Clinical instructor: Contact Lens Specialty Service (keratoconus, degenerative myopia, post-surgical corneas, ortho-keratology, multifocal lenses and ocular prosthetics).

Non-Referred Publications

  • “Could You Solve this Contact Lens Problem?”, Review of Optometry, May 1988.

  • “Care Systems for Disposable and Frequent Replacement CL’s”, Optometry Today, May 1992.

  • “Applications of Aspheric RGP Designs”, Optometry Today, June 1993.

  • “Citrate as a Soft Lens Cleaning Agent”, Optometry Today, June 1994.

  • “The Ocular Impact of Contact Lenses”, Optometric Management, January 1998.

  • ”Problem Solving Solutions”, Optometric Management, May 1998.

Published Abstracts

Kaplan EN, Gundel RE, Sosale A, Sack R, "Residual Hydrogen Peroxide as a Function of Platinum Disc Age", Opt & Vis Sci, 68(12s):168, 1991.

Kaplan EN, Gundel RE, "Anterior Hydrogel Lens Deposits: Polished versus Unpolished Surfaces", Opt & Vis Sci, 71(12s):53, 1994.

Gundel R, Libassi D, Morschauser D, "Apical Clearance in Keratoconus With Aspheric Lenses", Opt & Vis Sci, 72(12s):225, 1995.

Gundel R, Libassi D, "Rigid Contact Lens Parameter Selection in Keratoconus Fitting", Opt & Vis Sci, 73(12s):226, 1996.

Jang C, Morschauser D, Gundel R, Speaker M, "PK/LASIK Following a Contact Lens Induced Corneal Ulcer", Opt & Vis Sci, 75(12s):144, 1998.

Kwong H, Gundel R, Speaker M, "Bandage Contact Lens Use in Thygeson's SPK", Opt & Vis Sci, 76(12s):57, 1999.

Edrington T, Gundel R, Libassi D, Wagner H, "The Effect of RGP Lens Peripheral Clearance on Patient Comfort in Keratoconus", Opt & Vis Sci, 76(12s):210, 1999.

Vaz T, Gundel R, “Reduced Low Contrast VA Results in Preference for the Non Post-PK Eye in Keratoconus”, Opt & Vis Sci, 78(12s):58, 2001.

Edrington T, Gundel R, Libassi D, et.al, "Variables Effecting Rigid Contact Lens Comfort in the Collaborative Longitudinal Evaluation of Keratoconus (CLEK) Study", Opt & Vis Sci, 78(12s):58, 2001.

Vaz T, Gundel R, Speaker M, “LASIK for Visual Correction in a Post-PK Eye”, Opt & Vis Sci, 79(12s):117, 2002.

Gardiner H, Vaz T, Tran L, Gundel R. “Intrastromal Corneal Tattooing for Leukocoria”,  Opt & Vis Sci, 80(12s):54, 2003.

Rodio J, Gundel R. “What’s New in Refractive Surgery: Epi-LASIK”, Opt & Vis Sci, 81(12s), 2004.

Perekalsky K, Gundel R. “Therapeutic Orange Contact Lens in Achromatopsia” Opt & Vis Sci, 83 (065282), 2006.

Perekalsky K, Gundel R. “Establishing an Optimal Replacement Cycle for Acuvue Oasys Lenses in Dry Eye Patients”, Opt & Vis Sci, 85: E-abstract 085040, 2008.

Yu J, Gundel R. “Use of Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Agents in the Pain Management of Keratoconus”, Opt & Vis Sci, 85: E-abstract 085287, 2008.

Peer Reviewed Publications

Gundel RE, Cohen HI, Akerman DH. "Central Corneal Thickness Changes With Various Toric Soft Lenses", Int. Contact Lens Clinic, 11(11):698-704, 1984.

Cohen HI, Gundel RE. "Soft Lens Dehydration: Thin Low Water vs. Thick High Water Lenses", Int. Eyecare,  2(2):97-100, 1986.

Gundel RE, Cohen HI. "Dehydration Induced Parameter Changes", Int. Eyecare, 2(6):311-14, 1986.

Gundel RE, Cohen HI, DiVergilio D. "Peripheral Keratometry and Soft Lens Fitting", Int. Eyecare, 2(12):611-3, 1986.

Gundel RE. "Determining Appropriate Cylinder Correction with Soft Toric Lenses", J Am. Opt. Assoc., 59(3):206-8, 1988.

Gundel RE, Kirshen SA, DiVergilio D. "Changes in Contrast Sensitivity Induced by Spherical Hydrogel Lenses on Low Astigmats", J Am. Opt. Assoc., 59(8):636-40, 1988.

Gundel RE. "Effect of Cylinder Axis on Rotation for a Double Thin Zone Design Toric Hydrogel", Int. Contact Lens Clinic, 16(5):141-5, 1989.

Bernstein PR, Gundel RE, Rosen JS. "Masking Corneal Toricity With Hydrogels: Does It Work?", Int. Contact Lens Clinic, 18(3&4):67-70, 1991.

Kaplan EN, Gundel RE, Sosale A, Sack R. "Residual Hydrogen Peroxide as a Function of Platinum Disc Age", CLAO Journal, 18(3):149-54, 1992.

Henry CA, Gundel RE. "Aiding the Novice Practitioner in Contact Lens Selection", J Am. Opt. Assoc., 63(9):649-54, 1992.

Gundel RE, Kaplan EN, Rosen JS. "Quantitative Analysis of Visual Acuity through Amber Discolored Lenses", Opt. & Vis. Sci., 69(12):948-52, 1992.

Gundel RE, Rosen JS, Kaplan EN. "Parameter Consistency in Disposable Lenses", Opt. & Vis. Sci., 70(8):672-6, 1993.

Gundel R, Rosen J. "Patient Preferences for Three Month versus Two Week Lens Replacement", Contact Lens Spectrum, 9(2):37-9, 1994.

Kaplan EN, Gundel RE. "Anterior Hydrogel Lens Deposits: Polished vs. Unpolished Surfaces", Opt. & Vis. Sci., 73(3):201-3, 1996.

Edrington TB, Barr JT, Zadnik K, Davis LJ, Gundel RE, Libassi DP, McMahon TT, Gordon MO. "Standardized Rigid Contact Lens Fitting Protocol for Keratoconus", Opt. & Vis. Sci., 73(6):369-75, 1996.

Gundel RE, Libassi DP, Zadnik K, Barr JT, Davis L, McMahon TT, Edrington TB, Gordon MO. "Feasibility of Fitting Contact Lenses with Apical Clearance in Keratoconus", Opt. & Vis. Sci., 73(12):729-32, 1996.

Gundel R, Metwalli M, Kaplan E, Scheid T, Tullo W. "A Comparative Evaluation of Soft Lens Dehydration Performance", CL Spectrum, 13(2):47-50, 1998.

Freidman D, Gundel R. "Hydrops Results in Acuity Improvement", CL Spectrum, 14(1):41-2, 1999.

Kwong H, Gundel, R. “Empirical Fitting With Polycon II Lenses”, Int. Contact Lens Clinic, 26(6):152-6, 1999.

Shah AS, Gundel R. “Low Contrast Visual Acuity Measurements in Single Vision and Bifocal Soft Lens Wearers”, Int. Contact Lens Clinic, 27(4):119-23, 2000.

Vaz TC, Gundel RE. “High and Low Contrast Visual Acuity Measurements in Spherical and Aspheric Contact Lens Wearers”, Contact Lens & Anterior Eye, 26(3):147-51, 2003.

Edrington TB, Gundel RE, Libassi DP, Wagner H, Pierce GE, Walline JJ, Barr JT, Olafsson HE, Steger-May K, Achtenberg J, Wilson BS, Gordon MO, Zadnik K. "Variables Affecting Rigid Contact Lens Comfort in the Collaborative Longitudinal Evaluation of Keratoconus (CLEK) Study", Opt. & Vis. Sci., 81(3):182-188, 2004.

Gardiner HK, Leong MA, Gundel, RE.  “Quantifying Regression with Orthokeratology”, CL Spectrum, 20(10):40-46, 2005.

Rodio JJ, Gundel RE. “Piggyback Lens Systems for Keratoconus”. CL Spectrum 21(9):39-47, 2006.

Cavalli Y, Gundel R. “Comparing Quality of Vision in Two Lens Types”, CL Spectrum 22(3): 34-38, 2007.

Yu JO, Gundel RE. “Use of Acular LS in the Pain Management of Keratoconus: A Pilot Study”, Opt. & Vis. Sci., 87(2); 125-130.

Funded Research Activities

  • 1990-1991: Hydrogen Peroxide Neutralization as a Function of Platinum Disc Age (Bausch & Lomb, $14,000)

  • 1991-1992: Quantitative Evaluation of Lens Discoloration (Alcon Laboratories, $10,550)

  • 1992-1993: Comparative Evaluation of FreshLook Lenses (Wesley-Jessen, $50,744)

  • 1993: Comparative Evaluation of Preference and Surevue Lenses (CooperVision, $8,775)

  • 1994: Scanning Electron Microscopy of Polished versus Unpolished Lenses (Wesley-Jessen, $7,200)

  • 1994: Power Conformance of Coast vs. Optima Toric Lenses (Coast Vision, $2,530)

  • Unrestricted Research Grant (Allergan Optical, $15,000)

  • 1995: Collaborative Longitudinal Evaluation of Keratoconus (NEI Grant #U10-EY10419, $380,000)
    2004 (Co-Investigator)

  • 1997: Comparative Evaluation of CSI vs. Proclear Lenses (Wesley-Jessen, $18,946)

  • 1998: Empirical Fitting with Freshlook Soft Toric Lenses (Wesley-Jessen, $11,500)

  • 2000: Unrestricted Research Grant (Wesley-Jessen, $5,000)

  • 2001: Fellowship Support Grant (CooperVision, $2,500)

  • 2003: Fellowship Support Grant (CIBA Vision, $2,500)

  • 2005: Fellowship Support Grant (CIBA Vision, $2,700)

  • 2007: Fellowship Support Grant (CooperVision, $3,000)

  • 2009: Research Fellowship Support Grant (The Vision Care Institute, $12,075)

COPE Approved Continuing Education Lectures

  • 12345-CL: Contact Lens Update

  • 2663-SD: Therapeutic Management of Keratoconus and the CLEK Study

  • 3412-AS: Soft Lens Care and the Prevention of Contact Lens Induced Complications

  • 20592-AS: Cornea and Contact Lens Update

  • 21212-AS: Early Diagnosis and Management of Keratoconus

  • 23207-AS: Specialty Contact Lenses

  • 24747-AS: Use of NSAID Agents in the Pain Management of Keratoconus

Book Chapters

"Keratoconus: Diagnosis and Management," In: Scheid TR, ed. Clinical Manual of Specialized Contact Lens Prescribing. Boston, MA: Butterworth-Heinemann, 2002: 87-102.

"Pediatric and Adolescent Contact Lens Correction," In: Duckman RH, ed. Visual Development, Diagnosis, and Treatment of the Pediatric Patient. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2006: 260-277.

Invited Book Reviews

"Manual of Contact Lens Prescribing and Fitting," by MM Hom, Optometry and Vision Science, September 1997.

"Manual of Contact Lens Prescribing and Fitting, 3rd ed." by MM Hom and AS Bruce, Optometry and Vision Science, October 2006.

Other Professional Activities

  • 1989-Present: Member, SUNY College of Optometry Institutional Review Board (IRB)

  • 1990: American Optical Corporation Prosthetic Eye Fitting Certification

  • 1990-92: Program Supervisor, SUNY College of Optometry Residency in Contact Lenses

  • 1992-93: Journal Referee, International Contact Lens Clinic

  • 1992-96: Council Member, Schnurmacher Institute for Vision Research (SUNY College of Optometry)

  • 1993-94: Publication Review Board, Optometry Today Magazine

  • 1994-96: Chair, SUNY College of Optometry Contact Lens Quality Management Sub-Committee

  • 1996-99:  Referee, American Optometric Foundation/Vistakon Research Grants

  • 2006-Present: Journal Referee, Optometry & Vision Science

  • 2008-Present: Member, SUNY College of Optometry Educational Policy Committee

  • 2009-Present: Member, SUNY College of Optometry CPQ (Tenure and Promotion) Committee

Present Affiliations

  • Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry

  • Member, Association of Contact Lens Educators

  • informity