Elizabeth A. Crago

Associate Professor
Acute & Tertiary Care


Dr. Crago’s research focuses on the clinical complications that influence recovery after acute neurological injury, including protein markers in plasma and cerebral spinal fluid that may be influential or predict recovery. Currently, she is attempting to identify biologic predictors of injury and recovery following aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage. Dr. Crago specifically is interested in the influence of sex steroids and insulin-like growth factors on the brain in this patient population.

Dr. Crago has received foundation and institutional funding in the following areas:

  • The role of estrogen in the development of delayed cerebral ischemia after aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage
  • The relationship of hormone levels to outcomes after acute aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage
  • Assessing the relationship of cerebral vascular reactivity to outcomes after aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage
  • The effect of IGF1 gene variants on functional outcomes after aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage

She has additional expertise in other biologic markers (20-HETE, ET-1) and phenotypes (cardiac complications) in patients with neurologic injury as well as neurologic monitoring including transcranial Dopplers, near infrared spectroscopy (NIRS), and non-invasive cardiac monitoring.

Clinical Emphasis

Dr. Crago’s clinical expertise is in emergency and critical care nursing with a special emphasis on neurosurgical patients. She currently practices as a staff nurse in the Emergency Department at Excela Health. 


Dr. Crago is the primary instructor for the senior undergraduate course NUR1121 Advanced Clinical Decision Making at the University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing. She also mentors DNP and PhD students as well as undergraduate students in the URMP program. Dr. Crago provides guest lectures to graduate/doctoral nursing students on acute neurological assessment and injury [Pathophysiology; Critical Care & Cardiopulmonary Clinical Emphasis (ACNP-DNP)].

She is adjunct faculty in the paramedic program at Mutual Aid Ambulance Service, where she provides instruction on pathophysiology topics including as neurologic injury, pulmonology, endocrinology, toxicology, hematology and anaphylaxis. Dr. Crago also provides lectures on neurologic problems in the Critical Care and Emergency courses at Excela Health and has helped design and implement Intracranial Pressure Monitoring Education as well as ongoing stroke education. As a certified instructor, she provides community and professional First Aid, ACLS, and PALS instruction.


Dr. Crago is a member of the American Association of Critical Care Nurses, Emergency Nursing Association American Association of Neuroscience Nurses, International Society of Nursing Genetics, Eastern Nursing Research Society, Sigma Theta Tau International, Society for Critical Care Medicine, and the Neurocritical Care Society. She has held leadership positions in the nursing section and currently serves on the sectionwide Patient Advocacy Committee for the Society of Critical Care Medicine. Dr. Crago has been a grant reviewer for the American Association Neuroscience Nursing Foundation and the Society of Critical Care Medicine. She is an abstract reviewer for American Heart Association International Stroke Conference, the Society of Critical Care Medicine and the Neurocritical Care Society.  Dr. Crago also has provided peer reviews for the Journal of NeuroCritical Care and both the American and British Journals of Neuroscience Nursing