Dr Thomas Yeager is a Senior Lecturer in Biotechnology in the First Year College. He received his PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1997, studying the effects of tumour suppressor genes on colon cancer progression. He then spent three years as a post-doctoral fellow at the Children’s Medical Research Institute in Sydney investigating the role of alternative telomere lengthening in immortalization.

Next he spent five years working in the research and development group at Promega, a biotechnology company in the USA. While at Promega he helped develop a number of cell based kits including ones for use with RNA interference. Following that experience he returned to Australia and worked for five years at CSL in the process development group improving the fermentation process for various recombinant protein based medicines.

Dr Yeager joined Victoria University in 2010 and has explored research in the area of bioactive compounds from dairy products as well as heat stable proteases in long life milk. More recently he has worked with ANaerobic AMMonium OXidation (anammox) bacteria to study their role in the nitrogen cycle and efficient ammonium removal. The final area of research is the use of pulsed electromagnetic fields as a potential antimicrobial technology.

Dr Yeager is also an enthusiastic teacher. He has helped develop virtual simulations of key steps in the process development pathway for protein based medicine production in conjunction with the Monash School of Pharmacy using the Pharmatopia platform. These simulations give students insights into real world examples of the pharmaceutical development process, taken from his time in industry.

Publications

Refereed journal articles

Au, AY, Hackl, T, Yeager, TR, Cohen, SB, Pass, HI, Harris, CC & Reddel, RR (2011) 'Telomerase activity in pleural malignant mesotheliomas', Lung Cancer, vol. 73, no. 3, pp. 283-8.

Fasching, CL, Neumann, AA, Muntoni, A, Yeager, TR & Reddel, RR (2007) 'DNA damage induces alternative lengthening of telomeres (ALT) associated promyelocytic leukemia bodies that preferentially associate with linear telomeric DNA', Cancer Res, vol. 67, no. 15, pp. 7072-7.

Henson, JD, Hannay, JA, McCarthy, SW, Royds, JA, Yeager, TR, Robinson, RA, Wharton, SB, Jellinek, DA, Arbuckle, SM, Yoo, J, Robinson, BG, Learoyd, DL, Stalley, PD, Bonar, SF, Yu, D, Pollock, RE & Reddel, RR (2005) 'A robust assay for alternative lengthening of telomeres in tumors shows the significance of alternative lengthening of telomeres in sarcomas and astrocytomas', Clin Cancer Res, vol. 11, no. 1, pp. 217-25.

Henson, JD, Neumann, AA, Yeager, TR & Reddel, RR (2002) 'Alternative lengthening of telomeres in mammalian cells', Oncogene, vol. 21, no. 4, pp. 598-610.

Perrem, K, Colgin, LM, Neumann, AA, Yeager, TR & Reddel, RR (2001) 'Coexistence of alternative lengthening of telomeres and telomerase in hTERT-transfected GM847 cells', Mol Cell Biol, vol. 21, no. 12, pp. 3862-75.

Reddel, RR, Bryan, TM, Colgin, LM, Perrem, KT & Yeager, TR (2001) 'Alternative lengthening of telomeres in human cells', Radiat Res, vol. 155, no. 1 Pt 2, pp. 194-200.

Supervision

Completion of 3 PhD students and 4 Honours students.

Current co-supervision of 2 PhD students.

Research grants

  • 2014-2016 Chief Investigator Melbourne Water. In collaboration with the ISI: anammox bioreactor culture start up $180,000
  • 2014 Chief Investigator - Melbourne Water. In collaboration with the Institute for Sustainability and Innovation (ISI): qPCR identification of anammox bacteria $10,000
  • 2012-2015 Primary Investigator National Centre of Excellence in Desalination Australia. In collaboration with the ISI: Evaluation of a Non-Chemical Pulsed-Power Technology as an Antifouling Pre-treatment for Reverse Osmosis Desalination Membranes.  $178,000
  • 2012-2015 Partner investigator Murray Goulburn in collaboration with Swinburne University:  mapping the thermo-tolerant proteases in long life milk. $75,000
  • 2012 Chief Investigator in collaboration with CSL and Monash University: Developed a novel purification facility on the Pharmatopia teaching platform.  Administered by Monash University $24,160.

Publications

Refereed journal articles

Gut, A.M., Vasiljevic, T., Yeager, T., Donkor, O.N. 2018 Salmonella infection - prevention and treatment by antibiotics and probiotic yeasts: a review. Microbiology 23 Aug.

Guay, P.J., Leppitt, R., Weston, M.A., Yeager, T.R., Van Dongen, W.F.D., Symonds, M.R.E. 2018 Antimicrobial effects of pulsed electromagnetic fields from commercially available water treatment devices – controlled studies under static and flow conditions. Journal of Zoology 304(4):252-259 01 Apr

Piyadasa, C., Yeager, T.R., Gray, S.R., Stewart, M.B., Ridgway, H.F., Pelekani, C., Orbell, J.D. 2018  Antimicrobial effects of pulsed electromagnetic fields from commercially available water treatment devices – controlled studies under static and flow conditionsJournal of Chemical Technology and Biotechnology 93(3):871-877 01 Mar.

Piyadasa, C.,  Ridgway, H.F., Yeager, T.R., Stewart, M.B, Pelekani, C., Gray, S.R., Orbell, J.D. 2017 The application of Electromagnetic fields to the control of the scaling and biofouling of reverse osmosis membranes – A review.  Desalination 418 19-34 .

Nuwan, R. Vithanage, Jeevana Bhongir, Snehal R. Jadhavm, Chaminda S. Ranadheera, Enzo A. Palombo, Thomas R. Yeager, And Nivedita Datta, 2017  Species-level discrimination of psychrotropic pathogenic and spoilage gram-negative  raw milk isolates using a combined MALDI-TOF MS proteomics-bioinformatics-based approach.  J proteome research 16(6):2188-2203 02 Jun.

View more of Dr Yeager's publications in VU's Research Repository.

Professional memberships

  • Bioprocessing Network.

Industry experience

Worked as a research and development scientist at Promega Corp for 5 years in the area of cell assays and RNAi.

Worked for 5 years at CSL as a process development scientist in the fermentation group helping to scale up the production of recombinant protein molecules in cell based systems.

Areas of expertise

  • Bioactive compounds from various food sources
  • Heat stable proteases in long life milk
  • ANaerobic AMMonium OXidation (anammox) bacteria to study their role in efficient ammonium removal
  • Pulsed electromagnetic fields as a potential antimicrobial technology
  • Microalgae and their application in biogas production

Contact details