Cell Biology, Neurobiology & Anatomy

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Ross Collery, PhD


Ross Collery, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow

Department of Cell Biology, Neurobiology & Anatomy

PhD, University College Dublin, Ireland, 2008

Faculty Advisor: Brian A. Link, PhD

Phone: (414) 955-8509
Fax: (414) 955-6517
Email: rcollery@mcw.edu




Research Area: The complex genetic etiology of glaucoma and vertebrate retinal development

Research Area 1

The complex genetic etiology of glaucoma

The glaucomas are a group of eye diseases characterized by a loss of retinal ganglion cells, and accompanying loss of vision. While glaucomas are often associated with an increase of intraocular pressure, this is not always the case. The genetic causes for glaucomas are likely due to an interaction of a significant number of predisposing factors, which are unlikely to lead to retinal damage when considered in isolation. For this reason, it is difficult to identify genes that are members of the glaucoma-influencing cohort, and most probably remain undiscovered. In the Link lab, we are undertaking a mutagenesis screen on a zebrafish line whose genetic background has been shown to have an increased likelihood of glaucoma development. We intend to identify genes that lead to anterior segment dysgenesis, increased intraocular pressure and retinal ganglion cell death, all of which are associated with glaucoma disease in humans.

Research Area 2

Vertebrate retinal development

Proper eye development is fundamental to a reasonable quality of life, and though much is known about the genetic pathways that control development and maturation of the eye and the retina, understanding of this field is far from complete. We use the vertebrate zebrafish to study the interaction of members of the TGF-beta ligand superfamily, including bone morphogenic proteins (BMPs) and their activation of receptor-regulated SMADs 1, 5 and 8. We are investigating the cellular cues that trigger BMP pathway activation, and the consequences of SMAD nuclear migration which is known to induce transcription of specific target genes. By examining known and novel genes implicated in retinal development, we will better understand this intricate process.

Education and Training

2008 – 2009 Post-doctoral research with Dr Breandán Kennedy, University College Dublin.
2003 – 2008 PhD, UCD Conway Institute of Biomolecular and Biomedical Research, UCD (Supervised by Dr Breandán Kennedy, University College Dublin).
2000 – 2003 MSc (Research) in Molecular Genetics (Supervised by Professor Kevin Devine, Smurfit Institute of Genetics, Trinity College, Dublin).
1996 – 2000 BA (Mod.) in Genetics, Trinity College, Dublin. 


Collery, R., S. McLoughlin, V. Vendrell, J. Finnegan, J. Crabb, J. Saari and B. Kennedy (2008). "Duplication and divergence of zebrafish CRALBP genes uncovers a novel role for RPE- and Müller-CRALBP in cone vision." IOVS. 49(9):3812-20.

Campbell, M., R. Collery, A. McEvoy, T. A. Gardiner, A. W. Stitt and B. Brankin (2006). "Involvement of MAPKs in Endostatin-mediated Regulation of Blood-Retinal Barrier Function." Curr Eye Res 31(12): 1033 – 45.

Collery, R., M. Cederlund, V. Smyth and B. N. Kennedy. (2006). Applying Transgenic Zebrafish Technology to Study the Retina. Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology. 572: 201 – 207.

Noone, D., A. Howell, R. Collery and Devine, K. M. (2001). "YkdA and YvtA, HtrA–like serine proteases in Bacillus subtilis, engage in negative autoregulation and reciprocal cross-regulation of ykdA and yvtA gene expression." J Bacteriol 183(2): 654 – 63.

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