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Harrison College of Pharmacy

Faculty and Staff Directory

Vishnu Suppiramaniam

Vishnu Suppiramaniam

Gilliland Professor
Director of Research Development and Support
Units: Drug Discovery and Development, Research
Auburn University
Harrison College of Pharmacy
151 Pharmacy Research Building
Auburn, AL 36849
Phone: 334-844-8396
Fax: 334-844-8331



  • B.V.Sc., Veterinary Medicine - Madras Veterinary College (India), 1985
  • M.S., Pharmaceutical Sciences - Auburn, 1989
  • Ph.D., Biomedical Sciences - Auburn, 1993
  • D.V.M Clinical Internship – Tuskegee, 2000

Professional History

2001-04: Assistant Professor, Department of Drug Discovery and Development, Auburn University Harrison College of Pharmacy

2004-15: Associate Professor, Department of Drug Discovery and Development, Auburn University Harrison College of Pharmacy

2015-present: Professor, Department of Drug Discovery and Development, Auburn University Harrison College of Pharmacy

2016-18: Assistant Dean for Research and Graduate Program, Auburn University Harrison College of Pharmacy

2018-19: Acting Associate Dean for Research, Auburn University Harrison College of Pharmacy

2017-present: Visiting Professor, Qingdao University (China)

2018-present: Co-Director, Center for Neuroscience Initiative, Auburn University Harrison College of Pharmacy

2020-present: Director of Research Support, Auburn University Harrison College of Pharmacy

2021-present: Gilliland Endowed Professor, Department of Drug Discovery and Development, Auburn University Harrison College of Pharmacy

Current Funding

Alabama State University Partnership with Research Intensive Institutions to Promote Diversity in Aging Research
Funder: NIH/NIA
Date: 2022-27
Role: Principal Investigator
Total Cost: $1,475,000

Graduate Research Training Initiatives for Student Enhancement (G-RISE) at Auburn University
Date: 2021-26
Role: Co-Investigator and Mentor
Total Cost: $1,500,484

Identifying Therapeutic Target to Rescue Learning and Memory Deficits in Following Prenatal Cannabinoid Exposure
Funder: NIH/NIDA R01 DA046723
Date: 2020-25
Role: Principal Investigator
Total Cost: $1,762,367

Novel Intranasal Pramlintide Administration for the Dissection of Metabolic and Cognitive Outcomes of Amylin-based Therapies in a Transgenic Mouse Model of Alzheimer’s Disease
Funder: American Federation for Pharmaceutical Education (AFPE)
Date: 2019 and 2023
Role: Mentor
Total Cost: $20,000

Elucidation of Molecular Mechanisms of Prenatal Cannabinoid Exposure: Identification of Targets and Therapies – Administrative Diversity Supplement
Funder: NIH/NIDA R01 DA046723-02
Date: 2021-24
Role: Principal Investigator
Total Cost: $143,637

Establishment of a Center for Neuroscience at Auburn University
Funder: Auburn University - Presidential Award for Innovative Research (PAIR)
Date: 2018-22
Role: Co-Director
Total Cost: $637,500

Laboratory Personnel

Graduate Students

  • Warren Smith, Pharm.D. - Ph.D. Student, DDD (Primary Advisor)
  • Kawsar Chaudhry, M.D, - Ph.D. Student, DDD Primary Advisor)
  • Adrian Courville, Pharm.D. - Ph.D. Student, DDD (Primary Advisor)
  • Miles Wiley, B.S. - Ph.D. Student (Primary Advisor)
  • Victoria Zona, M.S. - Ph.D. Student (Co-Advisor)
  • Rachael Cotter (Technician)
  • Carolyn Hawkins (Technician)

External Links

Research Interests

In collaboration with Dr. Miranda Reed and Dr. Alexander Dityatev, our laboratory studies molecular mechanisms of synaptic deregulation and deficits in learning and memory in conditions such as aging, diabetes, obesity, Alzheimer’s disease, prenatal alcohol exposure, and prenatal nicotine exposure, and prenatal cannabinoid exposure. We use rodent models, hippocampal slices, and organotypic slice cultures for our studies. We investigate synaptic transmission in the conditions mentioned above using in vitro and in vivo methodologies. Most of our studies evaluate electrochemical measurements in live brain slices (hippocampal slices). These measurements include field excitatory postsynaptic potentials and miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents.

We also record electrical activities in different parts of the hippocampus using microelectrode array (MEA) techniques. In addition, we utilize a novel method to record single synaptic ion channel activity using isolated synaptosomes reconstituted in lipid bilayers (a technique developed in our laboratory – Suppiramaniam et al., 2006). Using these methodologies, we evaluate how changes in the single ion channel function (synaptosomal recordings) would alter neuronal function (Whole cell patch clamp recordings), resulting in changes in basal synaptic transmission and synaptic plasticity (Long Term Potentiation & Long Term Depression).

To assess how altered hippocampal function results in changes in learning and memory, we use behavioral assays such as Y-maze, Morris Water maze, fear conditioning, and plus-maze. In addition, we use western blot (PSD pulled down assays and synaptosomes) and PCR to assess protein and gene expression. Therefore, we investigate how altered signaling in the brain at molecular, subcellular, cellular, and regional levels modifies learning and memory in various disease states.

Partnering with minority-serving and Historically Black Institutions (HBUs) to promote underrepresented minorities in neuroscience research – I have over 11 years of experience being a faculty member and a researcher in an HBU. I have mentored over 16 graduates and over 50 undergraduate minority students during that time. Over 90% of these students are in the medical profession or academia with their active research program. Recently, my collaborators and I received the first NIH diversity supplemental grant at Auburn University for one of our current graduate students. I am also a mentor and a collaborator for the NIH-G-Rise diversity scholarship grant. My partnership with Alabama State University (HBU) recently resulted in an NIH-R25 (PI) to promote diversity in aging research.

Selected Publications

  • Ahmad, A., Priyanka, P., Matthew, E., Bloemer, J., Woodie, L., Buabeid, M., Bhattacharya, S., Shanese, J., Bhattacharya, D., Dhanasekaran, M., Escobar, M., Arnold, R., & Suppiramaniam, V. (2021). Doxorubicin induces dysregulation of AMPA receptor and impairs hippocampal synaptic plasticity leading to learning and memory deficits. (Cell press). Heliyon. https://doi:10.1016/j.heliyon.2021.e07456.
  • Pinky, PD., Majrashi, M., Fujihashi, A., Bloemer, J., Govindarajulu, M., Ramesh, S., Reed, MN., Moore, T., Suppiramaniam, V., & Dhanasekaran M. (2021). Effects of prenatal synthetic cannabinoid exposure on the cerebellum of adolescent rat offspring. Heliyon. (Cell Press) https://doi:10.1016/j.heliyon.2021.e06730.
  • Woodie, LN., Johnson, RM., Ahmed, B., Fowler, S., Haynes, W., Carmona, B., Reed, M., Suppiramaniam, V., & Greene, MW. (2020). Western diet-induced obesity disrupts the diurnal rhythmicity of hippocampal core clock gene expression in a mouse model. Brain Behavior and Immunity, 88:815-825. https://doi:10.1016/j.bbi.2020.05.053.
  • Alatawi, Y., Hansen, RA., Chou, C., Qian, J., Suppiramaniam, V., & Cao, G . The association between antidepressants use and development of cognitive impairment among older women diagnosed with breast cancer. (2020). European Geriatric Medicine, 11(6):1017-1026. https://doi:10.1007/s41999-020-00349-4
  • Bloemer, J., Pinky, P. D., Smith, W., Bhattacharya, D., Chauhan, A., Govindarajulu, M., Hong, H., Dhanasekaran, M., Judd, R., Amin, R. H., Reed, M. N., & Suppiramaniam, V. (2019). Adiponectin knockout mice display cognitive and synaptic deficits. Frontiers in Endocrinology
  • Pinky, P. D., Bloemer, J., Smith, W. D., Moore, T., Hong, H., Suppiramaniam, V., & Reed, M. N. (2019). Prenatal cannabinoid exposure and altered neurotransmission. Neuropharmacology, 149, 181–194.
  • Kerscher, P., Kaczmarek, J. A., Head, S. E., Ellis, M. E., Seeto, W. J., Kim, J., Bhattacharya, S., Suppiramaniam, V., & Lipke, E. A. (2017). Direct Production of Human Cardiac Tissues by Pluripotent Stem Cell Encapsulation in Gelatin Methacryloyl. ACS Biomaterials Science & Engineering, 3(8), 1499–1509.
  • Viswaprakash, N., Vaithianathan, T., Viswaprakash, A., Judd, R., Parameshwaran, K., & Suppiramaniam, V. (2015). Insulin treatment restores glutamate (α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid) receptor function in the hippocampus of diabetic rats. Journal of Neuroscience Research, 93(9), 1442–1450.
  • Parameshwaran, K., Buabeid, M. A., Bhattacharya, S., Uthayathas, S., Kariharan, T., Dhanasekaran, M., & Suppiramaniam, V. (2013). Long term alterations in synaptic physiology, expression of β2 nicotinic receptors and ERK1/2 signaling in the hippocampus of rats with prenatal nicotine exposure. Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, 106, 102–111.
  • Parameshwaran, K., Buabeid, M. A., Karuppagounder, S. S., Uthayathas, S., Thiruchelvam, K., Shonesy, B., Dityatev, A., Escobar, M. C., Dhanasekaran, M., & Suppiramaniam, V. (2012). Developmental nicotine exposure induced alterations in behavior and glutamate receptor function in hippocampus. Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences: CMLS, 69(5), 829–841.
  • Shonesy, B. C., Thiruchelvam, K., Parameshwaran, K., Rahman, E. A., Karuppagounder, S. S., Huggins, K. W., Pinkert, C. A., Amin, R., Dhanasekaran, M., & Suppiramaniam, V. (2012). Central insulin resistance and synaptic dysfunction in intracerebroventricular-streptozotocin injected rodents. Neurobiology of Aging, 33(2), 430.e5-18.
  • Gonzalez, J., Du, M., Parameshwaran, K., Suppiramaniam, V., & Jayaraman, V. (2010). Role of dimer interface in activation and desensitization in AMPA receptors. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 107(21), 9891–9896.
  • Kochlamazashvili, G., Senkov, O., Grebenyuk, S., Robinson, C., Xiao, M.-F., Stummeyer, K., Gerardy-Schahn, R., Engel, A. K., Feig, L., Semyanov, A., Suppiramaniam, V., Schachner, M., & Dityatev, A. (2010). Neural cell adhesion molecule-associated polysialic acid regulates synaptic plasticity and learning by restraining the signaling through GluN2B-containing NMDA receptors. The Journal of Neuroscience, 30(11), 4171–4183.
  • Kanju, P. M., Parameshwaran, K., Sims, C., Bahr, B. A., Shonesy, B. C., & Suppiramaniam, V. (2008). Ampakine CX516 ameliorates functional deficits in AMPA receptors in a hippocampal slice model of protein accumulation. Experimental Neurology, 214(1), 55–61.
  • Vaglenova, J., Pandiella, N., Wijayawardhane, N., Vaithianathan, T., Birru, S., Breese, C., Suppiramaniam, V., & Randal, C. (2008). Aniracetam reversed learning and memory deficits following prenatal ethanol exposure by modulating functions of synaptic AMPA receptors. Neuropsychopharmacology, 33(5), 1071–1083.

Last Updated: August 30, 2022