Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences at the Eye Institute
Ross Collery, PhD

Ross Collery, PhD

Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences Assistant Professor of Cell Biology, Neurobiology and Anatomy


  • Medical College of Wisconsin Eye Institute
  • 925 N. 87 St. Room 827
    Milwaukee, WI 53226

Contact Information


BA (Mod), Genetics, Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland
MSc, Molecular Genetics, Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland
PhD, Conway Institute of Biomolecular and Biomedical Research, University College Dublin, Ireland


Dr. Collery received his Bachelor of Science (specializing in Genetics) from Trinity College Dublin in 2000 and received his master’s degree in genetics from the same institution in 2003. 

Dr. Collery then went on to obtain his PhD in Genetics from University College Dublin in 2008, where his research with Dr. Breandán Kennedy focused on using zebrafish to study both phototransduction in the eye, as well as the visual cycle. During his graduate career, he helped to characterize components of the cone and rod visual cycles, as well as applying emerging transgenic methods to express human proteins in zebrafish photoreceptors.

During his postdoctoral career, he worked with Dr. Brian Link at MCW studying the effects of BMP signaling and LRP2 function on eye size and refractive error.

Today, Dr. Collery continues to study pathways in the eye that contribute to vision, refractive error and retinoid trafficking.

Dr. Collery became a faculty member at the Medical College of Wisconsin Eye Institute in 2016.

Research Interests

The Collery lab studies studies refractive error and retinal degeneration in the eye, and how they influence one another, often having a common genetic cause.

Refractive error is common in inherited retinal degenerations, and conversely, refractive error can lead to retinal damage and degeneration.

We are especially interested in retinoids, compounds derived from vitamin A, that control many functions of the eye. Mutations in retinoid transport proteins have been shown to cause refractive error and photoreceptor loss. For example, mutations in human STRA6, a retinoid receptor found on the retinal pigment epithelial layer, cause Matthew-Wood syndrome, characterized by microphthalmia and coloboma.

To better understand how retinoids influence the development and health of the eye, we use a host of cutting-edge techniques, including:

  • CRISPR/Cas9 genomic editing (Figure 1)
  • Live imaging of the eye and retina using optical coherence tomography (OCT) (Figure 2)
  • Refractive error measurement (Figure 3)
  • Transgenic animal models (Figure 4; Movie 1)
  • Fluorescent protein imaging (Figure 4)
  • RNAseq transcriptomic profiling


Lab Images

RCollery_Research Interests Figure 1


RCollery_Research Interests Figure 2


RCollery_Research Interests Figure 3


RCollery_Research Interests Figure 4