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Dr Thomas Yeager

BSc (UAF), PhD (UWMadison)

Senior Lecturer, College of Engineering & Science

Dr Thomas Yeager is a Senior Lecturer in Biotechnology in the College of Engineering and Science. 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.


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.

Postgraduate research students & fellows

Current supervision: co-supervisor of 4 PhD students.

Research Grants

2012: Victoria University Research Infrastructure Grant; High speed and High Performance Live-cell Confocal Imaging System; Nurgali K, Blatch G, McConell G, Ebeling P, Westerbeek H, McKenna M, Miliszewska I, Yeager T, Senior P, McAinch A, Hayes A, Zulli A, Shaw C, Verghese E, Pesce E, Sakkal S: $225,700.

2012: NCEDA; “Evaluation of a Non-Chemical Pulsed-Power Technology as an Antifouling Pre-treatment for Reverse Osmosis Desalination Membranes; Thomas Yeager, John Orbell, Stephen Gray, and Harry Ridgway $178,000.

2012: CSL; Developing a novel purification facility on Pharmatopia” Thomas Yeager, Michael Whitmore, Ian Larson, Dale Linegar, Marian Costelloe: $24,160.

2011: Murray Goulburn; The development of in vitro models to assess the therapeutic potential of bioactive compounds; Sandra McKechnie, Thomas Yeager, Niveditta Datta: $30,000.

Areas of expertise

  • Anammox
  • Dairy bioactive compounds
  • Fermentation process
  • Membrane fouling
  • Molecular biology of cancer

Contact details

+61 3 9919 8103