Nicholas R. Marsh-Armstrong, Ph.D.

Professor, Department of Ophthalmology and Vision Science




Locations and Contact

Tupper Hall

Tupper Hall- UC Davis

Davis, CA 95616

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Research/Academic Interests

Dr. Marsh-Armstrong's laboratory studies cellular and molecular mechanisms of relevance to glaucoma.  The laboratory's main interests are in the roles of mitochondria dysfunction within retinal ganglion cells, the role of astrocytes in clearing debris from the optic nerve head, and the potentially deleterious inflammatory response at the optic nerve head.

Undergraduate School

B.A., Chemistry & Philosophy, Haverford College, Haverford PA 1988

Other School

Ph.D., Neuroscience, Harvard University School of Medicine, Boston MA 1994


Embryology, Carnegie Institution of Washington, Baltimore MA 1994-2000

Fague L, Liu YA, Marsh-Armstrong N. The basic science of optic nerve regeneration. Ann Transl Med. 2021 Aug;9(15):1276. doi:10.21037/atm-20-5351. PMID:34532413.

Das A, Bell CM, Berlinicke CA, Marsh-Armstrong N, Zack DJ. Programmed switch in the mitochondrial degradation pathways during human retinal ganglion cell differentiation from stem cells is critical for RGC survival. Redox Biol. 2020 Jul;34:101465. doi:10.1016/j.redox.2020.101465. Epub 2020 Apr 20. PMID:32473993.

Whitworth GB, Misaghi BC, Rosenthal DM, Mills EA, Heinen DJ, Watson AH, Ives CW, Ali SH, Bezold K, Marsh-Armstrong N, Watson FL. Translational profiling of retinal ganglion cell optic nerve regeneration in Xenopus laevis. Dev Biol. 2017 Jun 15;426(2):360-373. doi:10.1016/j.ydbio.2016.06.003. Epub 2016 Jul 26. PMID:27471010.

Mills EA, Davis CH, Bushong EA, Boassa D, Kim KY, Ellisman MH, Marsh-Armstrong N. Astrocytes phagocytose focal dystrophies from shortening myelin segments in the optic nerve of Xenopus laevis at metamorphosis. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2015 Aug 18;112(33):10509-14. doi:10.1073/pnas.1506486112. Epub 2015 Aug 3. PMID:26240339.

Davis CH, Marsh-Armstrong N. Discovery and implications of transcellular mitophagy. Autophagy. 2014;10(12):2383-4. doi:10.4161/15548627.2014.981920. PMID:25484086.

Davis CH, Kim KY, Bushong EA, Mills EA, Boassa D, Shih T, Kinebuchi M, Phan S, Zhou Y, Bihlmeyer NA, Nguyen JV, Jin Y, Ellisman MH, Marsh-Armstrong N. Transcellular degradation of axonal mitochondria. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2014 Jul 1;111(26):9633-8. doi:10.1073/pnas.1404651111. Epub 2014 Jun 16. PMID:24979790.

Watson FL, Mills EA, Wang X, Guo C, Chen DF, Marsh-Armstrong N. Cell type-specific translational profiling in the Xenopus laevis retina. Dev Dyn. 2012 Dec;241(12):1960-72. doi:10.1002/dvdy.23880. Epub 2012 Oct 29. PMID:23074098.

Nguyen JV, Soto I, Kim KY, Bushong EA, Oglesby E, Valiente-Soriano FJ, Yang Z, Davis CH, Bedont JL, Son JL, Wei JO, Buchman VL, Zack DJ, Vidal-Sanz M, Ellisman MH, Marsh-Armstrong N. Myelination transition zone astrocytes are constitutively phagocytic and have synuclein dependent reactivity in glaucoma. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2011 Jan 18;108(3):1176-81. doi:10.1073/pnas.1013965108. Epub 2011 Jan 3. PMID:21199938.

Soto I, Pease ME, Son JL, Shi X, Quigley HA, Marsh-Armstrong N. Retinal ganglion cell loss in a rat ocular hypertension model is sectorial and involves early optic nerve axon loss. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2011 Jan 21;52(1):434-41. doi:10.1167/iovs.10-5856. PMID:20811062.

Son JL, Soto I, Oglesby E, Lopez-Roca T, Pease ME, Quigley HA, Marsh-Armstrong N. Glaucomatous optic nerve injury involves early astrocyte reactivity and late oligodendrocyte loss. Glia. 2010 May;58(7):780-9. doi:10.1002/glia.20962. PMID:20091782.