Shivalingappa (Shiva) Swamynathan, PhD

  • Associate Professor of Ophthalmology
  • Ocular Surface Development Laboratory
  • University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine

Academic Affiliation

Associate Professor, Department of Ophthalmology
University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA

2005-2007: Staff Scientist, NEI, NIH

2000-2005: Intramural Research Training Associate, NEI, NIH

1996-2000: Post-doctoral fellow, University of Missouri-Columbia.

Education & Training

  • University of Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore, India (B.Sc.)
  • Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi, India (M.Sc.)
  • Center for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Hyderabad, India (Ph.D.)
  • Post-Doctoral Fellowship, University of Missouri-Columbia, National Eye Institute, NIH

Representative Publications

  1. Swamynathan, S.K.* (2013). Ocular surface development and gene expression. J Ophthalmol. 2013: 103947. doi: 10.1155/2013/103947. PMID: 23533700
  2. Swamynathan, S., Buela, K.A, Kinchington, P., Misawa, H., Lathrop, K.L., Hendricks, R.L. and Swamynathan, S.K.* (2012). Klf4 regulates the expression of Slurp1, which functions as an immunomodulatory peptide in the mouse cornea. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 53:8433-8446. PMID: 23139280
  3. Kenchegowda, D., Harvey, S.A.K., Swamynathan, S., Lathrop, K.L. and Swamynathan, S.K.* (2012) Critical Role of Klf5 in Regulating Gene Expression during Post-Eyelid Opening Maturation of Mouse Corneas. PLoS ONE 7(9): e44771. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0044771. PMID: 23024760
  4. Kenchegowda, D, Swamynathan, S, Gupta, D, Wan, H, Whitsett, J, and Swamynathan S.K*. 2011. Conditional disruption of mouse Klf5 results in defective eyelids with malformed meibomian glands, abnormal cornea and loss of conjunctival goblet cells. Dev. Biol. 356:5-18. PMID: 21600198
  5. Gupta, D., Harvey, S.A., Kaminski, N. and Swamynathan, S.K*. 2011. Mouse conjunctival forniceal gene expression during postnatal development and its regulation by Krüppel-like factor 4. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 52:4951-4962. PMID: 21398290
  6. Swamynathan, S., Kenchegowda, D., Piatigorsky, J. and Swamynathan, S.K*. 2011. Regulation of the corneal epithelial barrier function by Krüppel-like transcription factor 4. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 52:1762-1769. PMID: 21051695
  7. Swamynathan, S.K.* (2010). Kruppel-Like Factors: Three fingers in control. Human Genomics. 4(4): 1-8. PMID: 20511139
  8. Young, R.D., Swamynathan, S.K.*, Boote, C., Mann, M., Quantock, A.J., Piatigorsky, J., Funderburgh, J.L., and Meek, K.M. 2009. Stromal edema in Klf4 conditional null mouse cornea is associated with altered collagen fibril organization and reduced proteoglycans. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 50:4155-4161. PMID: 19387067
  9. Swamynathan, S.K*., Davis, J. and Piatigorsky, J. (2008). Identification of candidate KLF4 target genes reveals the molecular basis of the diverse regulatory roles of KLF4 in the mouse cornea. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 49: 3360-3370. PMID: 18469187
  10. Kozmik, Z., Swamynathan, S.K., Ruzickova, J., Jonasova, K., Paces, C., Vlcek, C., and Piatigorsky, J. (2008). Cubozoan crystallins: Evidence for convergent evolution of Pax regulatory sequences. Evol. Dev. 10: 52-61. PMID: 18184357
  11. Swamynathan, S.K. and Piatigorsky, J. (2007) Regulation of the mouse B-Crystallin and MKBP/HspB2 Promoter activities by shared and gene specific intergenic elements: The importance of context dependency. Int. J. Dev. Biol. 51: 689-700. PMID: 17939115
  12. Swamynathan, S.K*., Katz, J.P., Kaestner, K.H., Ashery-Padan, R., Crawford, M.A. and Piatigorsky, J. (2007) Conditional deletion of the mouse Klf4 gene results in corneal epithelial fragility, stromal edema, and loss of conjunctival goblet cells. Mol. Cell. Biol. 27: 182-194. PMID: 17060454
  13. Kanungo, J., Swamynathan, S.K., and Piatigorsky, J. (2004) Abundant corneal gelsolin in Zebrafish and the ‘Four-Eyed’ fish, Anableps anableps: Possible analogy with multifunctional lens crystallins. Experimental Eye Res. 79: 949-956. PMID: 15642334
  14. Swamynathan, S.K., Crawford, M.A., Robison Jr, W.G., Kanungo, J and Piatigorsky, J. (2003). Adaptive differences in the structure and macromolecular compositions of the air and water corneas of the four-eyed fish (Anableps anableps). FASEB Journal 17: 1996-2005. PMID: 14597669
  15. Kanungo, J., Kozmik, Z, Swamynathan, S.K., and Piatigorsky, J. (2003) Gelsolin is a dorsalizing factor in zebrafish. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. 100: 3287-3292. PMID: 12629212
  16. Swamynathan, S.K. and Piatigorsky, J. (2002) Orientation-dependent influence of an intergenic enhancer on the regulation of transcription of the divergently transcribed mouse shsp/B-crystallin and MKBP/HSPB2 genes. J. Biol. Chem. 277: 49700-49706. PMID: 12403771

Research Interests

Ocular Surface Development Laboratory

Research Grants


R01EY022898 NIH, NEI. Title: Corneal Expression and Function of Slurp1
Period: 2013-2018. Role: Principal Investigator


K22 EY016875 NIH, NEI Career Development Award,
Title: Role of KLF4 and KLF5 in mouse cornea development
Period: 2009 to 2011. Role: Principal Investigator

3K22EY016875-01S1 ARRA Administrative Supplement 
Period: 2009-2011. Role: Principal Investigator