Nansi Jo Colley

Position title: Professor Emerita, Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences


Headshot of Nansi Colley


Ph.D. University of California, Santa Barbara

Research Focus:

Research program on the molecular genetics of the Drosophila eye.  Our research has focused on the molecular genetics of signal transduction, calcium modulation, eye development and protein trafficking in Drosophila photoreceptors. The aim of our research program has been to identify signaling molecules in complex pathways, for the purpose of pinpointing candidate genes in heterogeneous retinal diseases such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and retinitis pigmentosa (RP).  We focused on trafficking mechanisms that are critical for the development and maintenance of photoreceptors.  We took a multidisciplinary approach for unraveling the basic mechanisms retinal function. Further, our work was focused on identify novel disease genes, and improving our understanding of disease pathogenesis in order to better diagnose, treat and prevent blinding retinal diseases such as AMD and RP.

Selected Publications:

1.        Nilsson, D. E. and Colley, N. J. (2016) Comparative Vision: Can Bacteria Really See? Current Biology Dispatch, 26, R369-R371.

2.         Colley, N.J. and D. E. Nilsson (2016) Photoreception in Phytoplankton, Integrative and Comparative Biology, Oxford Press; doi: 10.1093/icb/icw037

3.         Rosenbaum, E. E., Vasiljevic, E., Cleland, S. C., Flores, C. and Colley, N. J. (2014) The Gos28 SNARE protein mediates intra-Golgi transport of rhodopsin and is required for photoreceptor survival, J Biol Chem, 289, 32392-32409. PMC4239595.

4.         Rosenbaum, E. E., Vasiljevic, E., Brehm, K. S. and Colley, N. J. (2014) Mutations in four glycosyl hydrolases reveal a highly coordinated pathway for rhodopsin biosynthesis and N-glycan trimming in Drosophila melanogaster, PLoS Genet, 10, e1004349. PMC4006722.

5.         Colley, N. J. and Dowling, J. E. (2013) Spotlight on the evolution of vision, Vis Neurosci, 30, 1-3. PMC23705139.

6.         Kenealey, J., Polans, A. S. and Colley, N. J. (2013) Calcium in Vision, Encyclopedia of Metalloproteins, Springer Science+Business, New York, 10.1007/978-14614-1533-6.

7.         Weiss, S., Kohn, E., Dadon, D., Katz, B., Peters, M., Lebendiker, M., Kosloff, M., Colley, N. J. and Minke, B. (2012) Compartmentalization and Ca2+ buffering are essential for prevention of light-induced retinal degeneration, J Neurosci, 32, 14696-14708. PMC3492704.

8.         Rosenbaum, E. E., Brehm, K. S., Vasiljevic, E., Gajeski, A. and Colley, N. J. (2012) Drosophila GPI-mannosyltransferase 2 is required for GPI anchor attachment and surface expression of chaoptin, Vis Neurosci, 29, 143-156. PMC3638865.

9.         Colley, N. J. (2012) Retinal degeneration in the fly, Adv Exp Med Biol, 723, 407-414. PMC3441143.

10.      Rosenbaum, E. E., Brehm, K. S., Vasiljevic, E., Liu, C. H., Hardie, R. C. and Colley, N. J. (2011) XPORT-dependent transport of TRP and rhodopsin, Neuron, 72, 602-615. PMC3234208.

Link to Lab Website