Claudio Mauro

Colleges, School and Institutes

Biography

Dr Mauro graduated from the University of Naples “Federico II” in Italy with a combined 5-year BSc and MSc degree in Medical Biotechnology in 2002 followed by a PhD in Molecular Oncology and Endocrinology in 2007.

During his PhD (2002-07) Dr Mauro studied the pro-inflammatory and anti-apoptotic response controlled by the NF-kB family of transcription factors. In these studies he discovered novel mechanisms of activation of NF-kB downstream of TNF receptors and upon endoplasmic reticulum stress as well as the contribution of NF-kB activity to thyroid tumourigenesis (Biochem Biophys Res Comm 2003, J Biol Chem 2004, J Biol Chem 2006a, J Biol Chem 2006b, J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 2008).

During his post-doc (2007-11) – supported in part by a Foundation Fellowship awarded from the Italian Association for Cancer Research – he worked both at the University of Chicago in the USA and Imperial College London at the identification of the molecular mechanisms linking inflammation and metabolism in the adaptive immune system and in cancer (Proc Natl Acad Sci 2010, Nat Cell Biol 2011).

In 2011 he moved to the William Harvey Research Institute at the Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry at Queen Mary, University of London, where he focused on the investigation of the metabolic control of immune cell effector functions and the implications of the metabolic dependence of immune responses in inflammatory conditions. Through this work he obtained a prestigious Intermediate Basic Science Research Fellowship from the British Heart Foundation in 2012 (running until 2019) alongside other competitive research grants, and published a number of papers in the field (e.g., Mol Cell Proteomics 2014, PLoS Biol 2015, Trends Biochem Sci 2016, Eur J Immunol 2016, Cell Metab 2017, Nat Comm 2017, Immunity 2017).

In 2018 he joined the Institute of Inflammation and Aging at the University of Birmingham as a Professorial Research Fellow in Metabolism and Inflammation and leads a group of scientists working on basic and translational aspects of immunometabolism.

Research interests

The research in Dr Mauro’s group focuses on the interconnections between metabolic and inflammatory pathways and how systemic and cellular metabolic alterations in diseases with an inflammatory component lead to aberrant immune cell responses, which favour both the establishment and the propagation of inflammation. In particular, we investigate the mechanisms of metabolic control of T cell-mediated immune responses, including migration, differentiation and cytokine production in physiology and under metabolic stress.

One key area of our research is how small metabolites, like lactate, which accumulates locally in the inflamed tissue or systemically during acute and chronic inflammation, can impact the fate of the immune-inflammatory response via induction of  intracellular metabolic rewiring with immediate effect on broad range human diseases.

Another important aspect of the research is how fatty acids can impact the outcomes of an immune response, with repercussions on obesity-related diseases.

Our studies indicate that interfering with metabolic pathways (i.e., lipid, glucose and oxidative metabolism) alters immune cell effector functions and can be exploited for therapy (Plos Biol 2015, TiBS 2016, Immunity 2017, Cell Metab 2017, Nat Commun 2017, Cardiov Res 2019, Cell Metab 2019).

Qualifications

  • FHEA, 2016
  • PhD in Molecular Oncology and Endocrinology, University of Naples Federico II (Italy), 2007
  • Medical Biotechnology Degree (combined 5 year BSc and MSc programme, 1st class Honours), University of Naples Federico II (Italy), 2002
  • Classical Humanities High School Diploma, Virgilio Institute, Lecce (Italy), 1997