The University of Western Australia

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George Yeoh

Professor George Yeoh

Head, Liver Disease and Carcinogenesis
Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research (research)

Contact details
Address
Research
The University of Western Australia (M519)
35 Stirling Highway
CRAWLEY WA 6009
Australia
Phone
+61 8 6488 2986
Fax
+61 8 9224 0322
Email
yeoh@waimr.uwa.edu.au
Location
Room 259, Molecular and Chemical Sciences Building, Perth campus

Senior Honorary Research Fellow
Molecular Sciences, School of

Contact details
Address
School of Molecular Sciences
The University of Western Australia (M519)
35 Stirling Highway
CRAWLEY WA 6009
Australia
Phone
+61 8 6488 2986
Fax
+61 8 6488 1148
Email
george.yeoh@uwa.edu.au
Location
Room 259, Bayliss Building, Perth campus

Head, Liver Disease and Carcinogenesis
Medical Research, Centre for (affiliated with the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research)

Contact details
Address
Centre for Medical Research (affiliated with the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research)
The University of Western Australia (M519)
35 Stirling Highway
CRAWLEY WA 6009
Australia
Phone
+61 8 6488 2986
Fax
+61 8 9224 0322
Email
george.yeoh@uwa.edu.au
Location
Room 259, Molecular and Chemical Sciences Building, Perth campus
Qualifications
BSc PhD W.Aust.
Biography
Professor George Yeoh completed his undergraduate science degree with honours and a PhD at The University of Western Australia. He then worked in Physiology at UWA for two years before winning the prestigious postdoctoral award CJ Martin Fellowship from the NH&MRC, which allowed him to study at The University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia and The Beatson Institute for Cancer Research in Glasgow and then UWA for three years. Prof Yeoh then worked in Physiology at UWA for twenty years before accepting a position as Associate Professor in Biochemistry.
Key research
The incidence of liver disease in Australia is rising, along with obesity and hepatitis . In China alone there are over 120 million people infected with viral hepatitis. Professor Yeoh’s group were among the first to suggest the link between progenitor cells and liver cancer. Normally the liver is able to regenerate from injury, regrowing from hepatocytes. However, in diseases such as hepatitis B and alcoholism, where the liver has to continuously repair chronic damage, liver progenitor cells are used but this can result in cancer. This restricts the use of progenitor cells in therapy, so Professor Yeoh is currently trying to determine exactly what prompts good progenitor cells to turn cancerous. This is done by researching and comparing both tumerogenic and normal cells.
It is important to understand progenitor cells for although hepatocyte cells can be used in therapy, they are not as long lasting so they have limited applications. Using liver progenitor cell lines, it should be possible to create therapeutic bioreactors, such as liver dialysis machines. The next step is to use these cells in bio-artificial livers, and ultimately, to use them as cell therapy to replace the need for organ transplants. At the current rate of research, Professor Yeoh hopes to have therapeutic bioreactors in the next 4-5 years, artificial livers within 10 years and in-person therapy within the next 15-20 years.
By marking progenitor cells with fluorescent proteins, Professor Yeoh has been able to trace the development of the cells in mouse models. This technique will now be used to monitor the efficacy of treatment by cell therapy in mouse models for Wilsons’ disease and Methylmalonic aciduria (MMA).
Publications
Vince, J.E., D. Chau, B. Callus, W.W. Wong, C.J. Hawkins, P. Schneider, M. McKinlay, C.A. Benetatos, S.M. Condon, S.K. Chunduru, G. Yeoh, R. Brink, D.L. Vaux, and J. Silke, TWEAK-FN14 signaling induces lysosomal degradation of a cIAP1-TRAF2 complex to sensitize tumor cells to TNFalpha. J Cell Biol, 2008. 182(1): p. 171-84.

Viebahn, C.S. and G.C. Yeoh, What fires prometheus? The link between inflammation and regeneration following chronic liver injury. Int J Biochem Cell Biol, 2008. 40(5): p. 855-73.

Jellicoe, M.M., S.J. Nichols, B.A. Callus, M.V. Baker, P.J. Barnard, S.J. Berners-Price, J. Whelan, G.C. Yeoh, and A. Filipovska, Bioenergetic differences selectively sensitize tumorigenic liver progenitor cells to a new gold(I) compound. Carcinogenesis, 2008.

Dan, Y.Y. and G.C. Yeoh, Liver stem cells: a scientific and clinical perspective. J Gastroenterol Hepatol, 2008. 23(5): p. 687-98.

Yeoh, G.C., M. Ernst, S. Rose-John, B. Akhurst, C. Payne, S. Long, W. Alexander, B. Croker, D. Grail, and V.B. Matthews, Opposing roles of gp130-mediated STAT-3 and ERK-1/2 signaling in liver progenitor cell migration and proliferation. Hepatology, 2007. 45(2): p. 486-494.

Tirnitz-Parker, J.E., J.N. Tonkin, B. Knight, J.K. Olynyk, and G.C. Yeoh, Isolation, culture and immortalisation of hepatic oval cells from adult mice fed a choline-deficient, ethionine-supplemented diet. Int J Biochem Cell Biol, 2007. 39(12): p. 2226-39.

Nguyen, L.N., M.H. Furuya, L.A. Wolfraim, A.P. Nguyen, M.S. Holdren, J.S. Campbell, B. Knight, G.C. Yeoh, N. Fausto, and W.T. Parks, Transforming growth factor-beta differentially regulates oval cell and hepatocyte proliferation. Hepatology, 2007. 45(1): p. 31-41.

Knight, B., R. Lim, G.C. Yeoh, and J.K. Olynyk, Interferon-gamma exacerbates liver damage, the hepatic progenitor cell response and fibrosis in a mouse model of chronic liver injury. J Hepatol, 2007.

Knight, B., B. Akhurst, V.B. Matthews, R.G. Ruddell, G.A. Ramm, L.J. Abraham, J.K. Olynyk, and G.C. Yeoh, Attenuated liver progenitor (oval) cell and fibrogenic responses to the choline deficient, ethionine supplemented diet in the BALB/c inbred strain of mice. J Hepatol, 2007. 46(1): p. 134-41.

Viebahn, C.S., J.E. Tirnitz-Parker, J.K. Olynyk, and G.C. Yeoh, Evaluation of the "Cellscreen" system for proliferation studies on liver progenitor cells. Eur J Cell Biol, 2006. 85(12): p. 1265-74.

Lim, R., B. Knight, K. Patel, J.G. McHutchison, G.C. Yeoh, and J.K. Olynyk, Antiproliferative effects of interferon alpha on hepatic progenitor cells in vitro and in vivo. Hepatology, 2006. 43(5): p. 1074-83.

Davies, R.A., B. Knight, Y.W. Tian, G.C. Yeoh, and J.K. Olynyk, Hepatic oval cell response to the choline-deficient, ethionine supplemented model of murine liver injury is attenuated by the administration of a cyclo-oxygenase 2 inhibitor. Carcinogenesis, 2006. 27(8): p. 1607-16.

Subrata, L.S., K.N. Lowes, J.K. Olynyk, G.C. Yeoh, E.A. Quail, and L.J. Abraham, Hepatic expression of the tumor necrosis factor family member lymphotoxin-beta is regulated by interleukin (IL)-6 and IL-1beta: transcriptional control mechanisms in oval cells and hepatoma cell lines. Liver Int, 2005. 25(3): p. 633-46.

Matthews, V.B. and G.C. Yeoh, Liver stem cells. IUBMB Life, 2005. 57(8): p. 549-53.

Matthews, V.B., B. Knight, J.E. Tirnitz-Parker, J. Boon, J.K. Olynyk, and G.C. Yeoh, Oncostatin M induces an acute phase response but does not modulate the growth or maturation-status of liver progenitor (oval) cells in culture. Exp Cell Res, 2005. 306(1): p. 252-63.

Lee, C.M., B. Knight, G.C. Yeoh, G.A. Ramm, and J.K. Olynyk, Lymphotoxin-beta production following bile duct ligation: possible role for Kupffer cells. J Gastroenterol Hepatol, 2005. 20(11): p. 1762-8.

Knight, B. and G.C. Yeoh, TNF/LTalpha double knockout mice display abnormal inflammatory and regenerative responses to acute and chronic liver injury. Cell Tissue Res, 2005. 319(1): p. 61-70.

Knight, B., B.B. Yeap, G.C. Yeoh, and J.K. Olynyk, Inhibition of adult liver progenitor (oval) cell growth and viability by an agonist of the peroxisome proliferator activated receptor (PPAR) family member gamma, but not alpha or delta. Carcinogenesis, 2005. 26(10): p. 1782-92.

Knight, B., V.B. Matthews, J.K. Olynyk, and G.C. Yeoh, Jekyll and Hyde: evolving perspectives on the function and potential of the adult liver progenitor (oval) cell. Bioessays, 2005. 27(11): p. 1192-202.

Knight, B., V.B. Matthews, B. Akhurst, E.J. Croager, E. Klinken, L.J. Abraham, J.K. Olynyk, and G. Yeoh, Liver inflammation and cytokine production,but not acute phase protein synthesis, accompany the adult liver progenitor (oval) cell response to chronic liver injury. Immunol Cell Biol, 2005. 83(4): p. 364-74.

Brooling, J.T., J.S. Campbell, C. Mitchell, G.C. Yeoh, and N. Fausto, Differential regulation of rodent hepatocyte and oval cell proliferation by interferon gamma. Hepatology, 2005. 41(4): p. 906-15.

Akhurst, B., V. Matthews, K. Husk, M.J. Smyth, L.J. Abraham, and G.C. Yeoh, Differential lymphotoxin-beta and interferon gamma signaling during mouse liver regeneration induced by chronic and acute injury. Hepatology, 2005. 41(2): p. 327-335.

Yerkovich, S.T., P.J. Rigby, P.A. Fournier, J.K. Olynyk, and G.C. Yeoh, Kupffer cell cytokines interleukin-1beta and interleukin-10 combine to inhibit phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase and gluconeogenesis in cultured hepatocytes. Int J Biochem Cell Biol, 2004. 36(8): p. 1462-72.

Tan, E., P.G. Besant, X.L. Zu, C.W. Turck, M.A. Bogoyevitch, S.G. Lim, P.V. Attwood, and G.C. Yeoh, Histone H4 histidine kinase displays the expression pattern of a liver oncodevelopmental marker. Carcinogenesis, 2004. 25(11): p. 2083-8.

Matthews, V.B., S. Rose-John, and G.C. Yeoh, Genetic manipulations utilizing albumin and alpha-fetoprotein promoter/enhancers affect both hepatocytes and oval cells. Hepatology, 2004. 40(3): p. 759.

Matthews, V.B., E. Klinken, and G.C. Yeoh, Direct effects of interleukin-6 on liver progenitor oval cells in culture. Wound Repair Regen, 2004. 12(6): p. 650-6.

Lee, C.M., G.C. Yeoh, and J.K. Olynyk, Differential effects of gadolinium chloride on Kupffer cells in vivo and in vitro. Int J Biochem Cell Biol, 2004. 36: p. 481-488.

Tan, E., X.L. Zu, G.C. Yeoh, P.G. Besant, and P.V. Attwood, Detection of histidine kinases via a filter-based assay and reverse-phase thin-layer chromatographic phosphoamino acid analysis. Analytical Biochemistry, 2003. 323: p. 122-126.

Lowes, K.N., E.J. Croager, J.K. Olynyk, L.J. Abraham, and G.C. Yeoh, Oval cell-mediated liver regeneration: Role of cytokines and growth factors. J Gastroenterol Hepatol, 2003. 18(1): p. 4-12.

Lowes, K.N., E.J. Croager, L.J. Abraham, J.K. Olynyk, and G.C. Yeoh, Upregulation of lymphotoxin beta expression in liver progenitor (oval) cells in chronic hepatitis C. Gut, 2003. 52(9): p. 1327-32.

Lazaro, C.A., E.J. Croager, C. Mitchell, J.S. Campbell, C. Yu, J. Foraker, J.A. Rhim, G.C. Yeoh, and N. Fausto, Establishment, characterization, and long-term maintenance of cultures of human fetal hepatocytes. Hepatology, 2003. 38(5): p. 1095-106.
Roles, responsibilities and expertise
As well as researching and teaching, Prof Yeoh is also the Associate Dean for Research in the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences.
Funding received
Cancer Council
NH&MRC
Memberships
Prof Yeoh teaches in:
BIOC3352 Cellular and Metabolic Biochemistry (Course Co-ordinator)
BIOC3351 Molecular and Structural Biochemistry
SCIE3325 Molecular Biology
PHYL3300 Mammalian Cell Biology (Course Co-ordinator)
GENE3330 Molecular Genetics and Genomics

He also supervises the following students:
Cornelia Viebahn
Matthew Jelico
Jasmin Low (With Jim Whelan)
Joanne Tonkin
Frederick Shultz
Current projects
Professor Yeoh has sent his cell lines to 18 different laboratories around the world, including research institutes and universities in Australia, USA, Czechoslovakia, France, Germany, India, and China.
Research profile
Research profile and publications
 

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Last updated:
Tuesday, 3 November, 2015 2:39 PM