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Samuel Crish II Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences

Pharmaceutical Sciences


Phone: (330)325-6680

Location: 'C-104'


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Dr. Crish joined the Pharmaceutical Sciences faculty in July, 2010. He received his Bachelor of Science in Biology from Baldwin-Wallace College, Berea, Ohio in 1996 and his Ph.D. in Neurobiology from the University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Illinois in 2004.


2004: Ph.D. in Neurobiology, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA

1996: Bachelor of Science, Biology; Baldwin-Wallace College, Berea, OH, USA

Professional Experience

2010-present: Assistant Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Pharmacy, Rootstown, OH, USA

2008-2010: Staff Scientist,  Vanderbilt Eye Institute, Calkins Lab, Vanderbilt University, TN, USA

2006-2008: Postdoctoral Research Associate, Vanderbilt Eye Institute, Calkins Lab, Vanderbilt University, TN, USA

2003-2006: Postdoctoral Fellow, Catania Lab, Department of Biological Sciences, Vanderbilt University, TN, USA

Research Interests

My research is concerned with pre-apoptotic changes occurring in glaucoma. Recently, as in other age-related neurodegenerative disorders, there have been a number of studies suggesting that functional deficits and compartmentalized degeneration occur well before cell death in glaucoma. It is unclear how much these pathologies produce the clinical symptoms characteristic to this disease or how they relate to eventual cell body loss.

I am most interested in exploring how defects in axonal transport, metabolism, and physiology 1) drive axonal and somatic degeneration, 2) correlate to loss of function, and 3) represent targets for interventions to improve outcome. This research will serve to better define glaucoma’s progression and allow the development of more effective treatments.


2012-2017: R01 EY022358 “Axonopathy in Glaucoma”, PI: Sam Crish.

2011: Fight for Sight funded Dr. Crish’s grant titled “Testing Multifunctional Drugs in Glaucoma” for a Grant-in-Aid.

2007-2008: Postdoctoral Award for outstanding eye research projects, Fight For Sight. Grantees are selected through a rigorous review process by Fight for Sight's Scientific Review Committee.


A jointly authored Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) paper on recent findings in glaucoma research, of which Samuel D. Crish, Ph.D., assistant professor of pharmaceutical sciences at Northeast Ohio Medical University, was the lead author, has been awarded The Lewis Rudin Glaucoma Prize of The New York Academy of Medicine.

The Lewis Rudin Glaucoma Prize of the New York Academy recognizes the most significant scholarly article on glaucoma published in a peer-reviewed journal during the previous calendar year. Nominations for the prize are solicited from leaders of the ophthalmologic community and reviewed in the spring of the award year.


Crish SD, Dapper JD, Macnamee SE, Balaram P, Sidorova TN, Lambert WS, Calkins DJ. (2013) Failure of axonal transport induces a spatially coincident increase in astrocyte BDNF prior to synapse loss in a central target. Neuroscience. 229:55-70.

Bosco A, Crish SD, Steele MR, Romero CO, Inman DM, Horner PJ, Calkins DJ, Vetter ML. Early reduction of microglia activation by irradiation in a model of chronic glaucoma. PLoS One. 2012;7(8):e43602. Epub 2012 Aug 30.

Lambert, WS, Ruiz L, Crish, SD, Wheeler LA, Calkins, DJ. (2011). Brimonidine Prevents Axonal and Somatic Degeneration of Retinal Ganglion Gell Neurons. Mol. Neurodegener 6(1):4.

Crish, SD and Calkins, DJ. (2011). Neurodegeneration in Glaucoma: Progression and Calcium-Dependent Intracellular Mechanisms. Neuroscience 176:1-11.

Crish, SD, Sappington, RM, Inman, DM, Horner, PJ, and Calkins, DJ. (2010) Distal Axonopathy with Structural Persistence in Glaucomatous Neurodegeneration. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA 107(11):5196-201.

McMullen, CA, Andrade, FH, and Crish SD. (2010). Underdeveloped extraocular muscles in the naked mole-rat (Heterocephalus glaber). Anatomical Record Part A: Discoveries in Molecular, Cellular & Evolutionary Biolology 293(5):918-23.

Sappington, RM, Carlson, BJ, Crish, SD, Calkins, D. (2010). The Microbead Occlusion Model: A Paradigm for Induced Ocular Hypertension in Rats and Mice. Investigative Ophthalmology Visual Science 51(1):207-16.

Crish, SD, Dengler-Crish, CM, Comer, C. (2006). Population coding strategies and involvement of the superior colliculus in the tactile orienting behavior of naked mole-rats. Neuroscience 139(4):1461-6.

Dengler-Crish, CM, Crish, SD, O'Riain, J, Catania, KC. (2006). Organization of the somatosensory cortex in elephant shrews. Anatomical Record Part A: Discoveries in Molecular, Cellular & Evolutionary Biolology 288(8):859-66.

Crish, SD, Dengler-Crish, CM, Catania, KC. (2006). Central visual system of the naked mole-rat (Heterocephalus glaber). Anatomical Record Part A: Discoveries in Molecular, Cellular & Evolutionary Biolology 288(2):205-12.

Crish SD, Comer, CM, Marasco. PD, Catania, KC. (2003). Somatosensation in the superior colliculus of the star-nosed mole. Journal of Comparative Neurology 464:415-25.

Crish SD, Rice, FL, Park, TJ, Comer, CM. (2003). Somatosensory organization and behavior in naked mole-rats I: vibrissa-like body hairs comprise a sensory array that mediates orientation to tactile stimuli. Brain Behavior and Evolution 62:141-51.

Professional Associations

  • Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology
  • Society for Neuroscience
  • Northeastern Ohio Chapter of Society for Neuroscience
  • Sigma Xi Research Society
  • JB Johnston Club for Neuroethology
  • American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy

Academic Service

Ad hoc journal article reviewer for: Neuroscience

  • Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science
  • Journal of Ophthalmology
  • Neurobiology of Disease
  • Neuroscience
  • Molecular Vision
  • PLoS One

Scholarpedia: Assistant Editor for “Tactile Sensing in the Naked Mole-Rat” article.