Research & Faculty

Neurodegenerative Disease & Aging

We are a collaborative team of researchers that focus on fundamental and translational research in neurodegeneration and conditions linked to the aging of the brain. Our mission is to discover, develop and validate biomarkers and therapeutic approaches for neurodegenerative diseases, including Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease and glaucoma.

Our scientific focus is on early intervention and stopping the progression of neurodegeneration, improving quality of life and addressing health disparities.

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Areas of Study

Research focused on removing toxins from the brain and reducing brain inflammation. Studying non-motor aspects of PD and repositioning of existing drugs to stop progression. Individual susceptibility and treatment.

Researching a relationship between Alzheimer’s Disease and genetic susceptibility and environmental exposures. Biomarker development for cognitive dysfunction. Studying the non-cognitive aspects of Alzheimer’s including bone loss and mood disorders.

Identifying early mechanisms of degeneration and ways to reduce inflammation. Studying mitochondrial dysfunction and autophagy.

Faculty Researchers

Director, Neurodegenerative Disease & Aging Research Focus Area
Acting Associate Dean for Research College of Pharmacy
Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences
Phone: 330.325.6657
Email: jrichardson@neomed.edu

Jason Richardson Ph.D., DABT, is a tenured professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences at NEOMED, board-certified toxicologist and the founding director of a University-wide research focus area in Neurodegenerative Disease and Aging. He received his bachelor’s degree from Northeast Louisiana University (now University of Louisiana at Monroe) where he majored in Toxicology. He received his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Mississippi State University and then completed postdoctoral training at Emory University, where he was jointly appointed at the Rollins School of Public Health and the Center for Neurodegenerative Disease in the School of Medicine. Dr. Richardson spent 10 years at Rutgers University as a faculty member at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and the Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences Institute where he served as deputy director and then director of the Joint Graduate Program in Toxicology at Rutgers University. Dr. Richardson has authored or co-authored over 70 manuscripts and book chapters in the areas of developmental neurotoxicology, neurodegenerative disease, and pesticides. He has given over 50 invited lectures both nationally and internationally. Dr. Richardson is currently a member of the Editorial boards of Toxicological Sciences, Current Molecular Pharmacology, Neurotoxicology, Neurotoxicology and Teratology and Toxics. He begins service as an Associate Editor for Neurotoxicology in 2016 and was an Associate Editor for BMC Neurology. He has served as a reviewer and Chair for several NIH panels, the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Disease Research, Health Canada, and the United Kingdom Parkinson’s Disease Society. Most recently he was named to the Environmental Health Sciences Review Committee at NIEHS and the Committee on Emerging Science for Environmental Health Decisions at the National Academy of Science. Dr. Richardson received the Outstanding New Environmental Scientist Award from NIH/NIEHS and was the inaugural recipient of the Young Investigator Award from the Toxicology Division of the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics. Dr. Richardson has been continually funded by NIH for his entire career. He has served as PI on grants with direct costs totaling ~$7 million. He is currently PI on NIH grants that aim to determine the role of genetic susceptibility to neurotoxicity in Parkinson’s disease, identifying novel targets for reducing neuroinflammation in Parkinson’s disease and to develop drugs to mitigate acute neurotoxicant exposures as part of the HHS Counterterrorism Initiative (CounterAct). Additional grants pending at this time focus on the gene-environment interactions and health disparities in Alzheimer’s disease.

Associate Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences
Graduate Faculty Advsg Status College of Graduate Studies
Phone: 330.325.6680
Email: scrish@neomed.edu

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.

His 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.

He’s 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.

Assistant Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences
Research Assistant Professor of Anatomy and Neurobiology
Graduate Faculty Member College of Graduate Studies
Phone: 330.325.6598
Email: ccrish@neomed.edu

Dr. Crish joined the Pharmaceutical Sciences faculty in June, 2012. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Baldwin-Wallace College, Berea, Ohio in 1999 and her Masters in Psychology from University of Illinois at Chicago in 2003 and her Ph.D. in Neuroscience from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee in 2008.

Her research centers on age-related degeneration in the central nervous system and how this impacts health and function of the rest of the body. Specifically, Dr. Crish is  interested in brain pathology associated with comorbid osteoporosis in Alzheimer’s disease, and how disruptions in the way the brain controls bone growth may predict Alzheimer’s risk. Additionally, she’s pursuing how estrogens in the brain may help protect neurons and prevent or delay bone loss and/or cognitive decline.

Assistant Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences
Phone: 330.325.6568
Email: sfleming1@neomed.edu

Assistant Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences
Phone: 330.325.6471
Email: mhossain@neomed.edu

Assistant Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences
Graduate Faculty Member College of Graduate Studies
Phone: 330.325.6449
Email: dinman@neomed.edu

Dr. Inman joined the Pharmaceutical Sciences faculty in January 2011. She received her Bachelor of Science degree from Drexel University, Philadelphia, Pa.; and her Ph.D. in Neuroscience from University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Va..  Dr. Inman is an author of 14 articles in peer-reviewed journals, the recipient of 2 research grants and more than 27 abstracts/posters.

The Inman lab is interested in the mechanisms of neurodegenerative disease, especially as it pertains to interactions between neurons and glia. Our recent work has investigated the role of glia in the pathogenesis of glaucoma, the second leading cause of blindness in the US. We manipulate the expression of anti-oxidants in retinal glia to increase retinal ganglion cells resilience to oxidative stress.

In addition, we are following up on data that suggests there is a metabolic deficiency associated with glaucoma pathogenesis by analyzing mitochondria within neurons and glia of the visual pathway.

Finally, we also explore the relationship between retinal ganglion cell physiology and morphological change during the course of glaucoma.

Assistant Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences
Phone: 330.325.6552
Email: tkasumov@neomed.edu

Questions? Please contact:

Jason R. Richardson, Ph.D., DABT
Director, Neurodegenerative Disease & Aging Research Focus Area
Phone: (330)325-6657
Email: jrichardson@neomed.edu