Professor Claudio Mauro

Claudio Mauro

Institute of Inflammation and Ageing
Co-Lead of Research Strategy
Professor of Metabolism and Inflammation
British Heart Foundation Senior Basic Science Research Fellow

Contact details

Address
Institute of Inflammation and Ageing
College of Medical and Dental Sciences
University of Birmingham
Queen Elizabeth Hospital
Mindelsohn Way
Birmingham, B15 2WB

Professor Mauro trained as biochemist and cellular biologist before starting to approach immunological questions with his own group, motivated by the recent ‘renaissance’ in the interest in metabolism in widespread fields of the basic and clinical science.

The Mauro’s group investigates the interconnections between metabolic and inflammatory pathways and how systemic and local 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, they focus on unveiling how specific metabolites, including lactate and fatty acids, can surprisingly act as signalling molecules modulating many aspects of the immune-inflammatory response.

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

Biography

Professor 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) he 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 (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 Commun 2017, Immunity 2017).

In 2018 he joined the Institute of Inflammation and Ageing at the University of Birmingham as a Professorial Research Fellow in Metabolism and Inflammation to lead a group of scientists working on basic and translational aspects of immunometabolism (e.g. Cardiov Res 2019, Cell Metab 2019, Brit J Pharmacol 2020, Nat Rev Immunol 2020).

In 2020, he was promoted to Professor of Metabolism and Inflammation.

In 2022, he was awarded a prestigious British Heart Foundation Senior Basic Science Research Fellowship.

Postgraduate supervision

Professor Mauro has supervised the following individuals during their MSc, PhD or during their post-doc. The next position of past members of the group is noted in brackets:

Postgraduate students
DateName
May 22 - current Ms Harte, MSc Immunology and Immunotherapy
Nov 21 – current Ms Gope, MRes Inflammation and Ageing
Apr 21 – Aug 21 Mr Owen, MSc Immunology and Immunotherapy (then research assistant at The Binding Site)
Apr 19 – Aug 19 Mr Radvan, MSc Immunology & Immunotherapy (then PhD student at UoVienna)
Feb 18 – Aug 18 Ms Bono, MSc Immunology (then research assistant at QMUL)
Jan 15 – Sep 15 Ms Poojara, MRes Inflammation (then research assistant at ICL)
Jan 15 – Sep 15 Ms Macdougall, MRes Inflammation (then BHF-funded PhD student at QMUL)
Jan 14 – Sep 14 Ms Mistry, MRes Inflammation (then PhD student at QMUL)
PhD students
DateName
Oct 19 – current Mr Kucuk, CMAR/UoB Professorial Fellowship (1st supervisor)
Oct 19 – current Ms Conway, CMAR PhD student (2nd supervisor)
Oct 18 – current Mr Hussein, CMAR PhD student (2nd supervisor)
Mar 16 – Feb 19 Dr Pucino (MD), AR-UK Clinical Research Fellow (1st supervisor; then clinical fellow at UoB)
Dec 12 – Mar 16 Dr Haas, MRC PhD student (1st supervisor; then post-doc at The Francis Crick Institute)
Feb 12 – Oct 15 Dr Cheung, BHF PhD student (2nd supervisor; then post-doc at QMUL)
Postdoctoral Fellows
DateName
Mar 20 – current Dr Llibre, Marie-Curie Fellow
May 19 – current Dr Niven, UoB Professorial Fellowship-funded post-doc
Jun 17 – current Dr Certo, BHF/UoB Professorial Fellowship/MRC-funded post-doc
Aug 16 – Jul 18 Dr Cucchi, BHF-funded post-doc (then post-doc at the Barts Cancer Institute, QMUL)
Apr 13 – Mar 17 Dr Smith, BHF-funded Graduate Research Assistant (then Higher Scientific Officer at ICR Sutton)
Oct 14 – Jul 16 Dr Cucchi, Institute Pasteur Foundation Cenci-Bolognetti Post-doctoral Fellow (then BHF-funded post-doc in the Mauro’s group at QMUL)

If you are interested in studying any of these subject areas please contact Professor Claudio Mauro directly, or for any general doctoral research enquiries, please email mds-gradschool@contacts.bham.ac.uk.

For a full list of available Doctoral Research opportunities, please visit our Doctoral Research programme listings.

Research

The research in the 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, they 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 their 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 their research is how fatty acids can impact the outcomes of an immune response, with repercussions on obesity-related diseases.

Their 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, Trends Biochem Sci 2016, Immunity 2017, Cell Metab 2017, Nat Commun 2017, Cardiov Res 2019, Cell Metab 2019, Nat Commun 2020, Brit J Pharmacol 2020, Nat Rev Immunol 2020).

Other activities

Editorial Board Member

  • Clinical and Experimental Immunology (current)
  • British Journal of Pharmacology (current)
  • Frontiers in Immunology (current)
  • Cell Stress (current)

External Committees

  • Arthritis Research UK Foundation Fellowships (2019)

Internal Committees

  • Research Strategy Committee (Co-Lead), Institute of Inflammation and Ageing (current)
  • BHF Accelerator Award Grant Committee (current)
  • BHF Strategy Group (current)
  • REF2021 Committee, Institute of Inflammation and Ageing (Co-Lead - Outputs) and MDS (2020-21)

Consultancies 

  • Lmito Therapeutics Scientific Advisory Board Member (current)

Publications

Recent publications

Article

Farah, H, Wijesinghe, S, Nicholson, T, Alnajjar, FAQ, Certo, M, Alghamdi, AMA, Davis, E, Young, S, Mauro, C & Jones, S 2022, 'Differential metabotypes in synovial fibroblasts and synovial fluid in hip osteoarthritis patients support inflammatory responses', International Journal of Molecular Sciences, vol. 23, no. 6, 3266. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms23063266

Macchi, C, Moregola, A, Greco, MF, Svecla, M, Bonacina, F, Dhup, S, Dadhich, RK, Audano, M, Sonveaux, P, Mauro, C, Mitro, N, Ruscica, M & Norata, GD 2022, 'Monocarboxylate transporter 1 deficiency impacts CD8+ T lymphocytes proliferation and recruitment to adipose tissue during obesity', iScience, vol. 25, no. 6, 104435. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.isci.2022.104435

Camacho-Muñoz, D, Niven, J, Kucuk, S, Cucchi, D, Certo, M, Jones, SW, Fischer, DP, Mauro, C & Nicolaou, A 2022, 'Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids reverse the impact of western diets on regulatory T cell responses through averting ceramide-mediated pathways', Biochemical Pharmacology, vol. 204, 115211. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bcp.2022.115211

Yildiz, O, Schroth, J, Lombardi, V, Pucino, V, Bobeva, Y, Yip, PK, Schmierer, K, Mauro, C, Tree, T, Henson, SM & Malaspina, A 2022, 'The expression of active CD11b monocytes in blood and disease progression in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis', International Journal of Molecular Sciences, vol. 23, no. 6, 3370. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms23063370

Garcia, AM, Bishop, E, Li, D, Jeffery, L, Garten, A, Thakker, A, Certo, M, Mauro, C, Tennant, DA, Dimeloe, S, Evelo, CT, Coort, SL & Hewison, M 2021, 'Tolerogenic effects of 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D on dendritic cells involve induction of fatty acid synthesis', The Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, vol. 211, 105891. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jsbmb.2021.105891

Ko, J-H, Olona, A, Papathanassiu, AE, Buang, N, Park, K-S, Costa, ASH, Mauro, C, Frezza, C & Behmoaras, J 2020, 'BCAT1 affects mitochondrial metabolism independently of leucine transamination in activated human macrophages', Journal of Cell Science. https://doi.org/10.1242/jcs.247957

Editorial

Mauro, C, Naylor, AJ & Lord, JM 2022, 'Themed issue: Inflammation, repair and ageing', British Journal of Pharmacology. https://doi.org/10.1111/bph.15799

Patent

Mauro, C, Marelli-Berg, F & Haas, R, Inhibitors of lactate transporters for use in the treatment of inflammatory diseases, Patent No. EP3209328.

Review article

Certo, M, Llibre, A, Lee, W & Mauro, C 2022, 'Understanding lactate sensing and signalling', Trends in Endocrinology & Metabolism, vol. 33, no. 10, pp. 722-735. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tem.2022.07.004

Conway, J, Certo, M, Lord, JM, Mauro, C & Duggal, NA 2022, 'Understanding the role of host metabolites in the induction of immunesenescence: future strategies for keeping the ageing population healthy', British Journal of Pharmacology, vol. 179, no. 9, pp. 1808-1824. https://doi.org/10.1111/bph.15671

Llibre, A, Dedicoat, M, Burel, JG, Demangel, C, O'Shea, MK & Mauro, C 2021, 'Host immune-metabolic adaptations upon mycobacterial infections and associated co-morbidities', Frontiers in immunology, vol. 12, 747387. https://doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2021.747387

Llibre, A, Grudzinska, FS, O'Shea, MK, Duffy, D, Thickett, DR, Mauro, C & Scott, A 2021, 'Lactate cross-talk in host-pathogen interactions', The Biochemical journal, vol. 478, no. 17, pp. 3157-3178. https://doi.org/10.1042/BCJ20210263

Kucuk, S, Niven, J, Caamano, J, Jones, S, Camacho-muñoz, D, Nicolaou, A & Mauro, C 2021, 'Unwrapping the mechanisms of ceramide and fatty acid-initiated signals leading to immune-inflammatory responses in obesity', The International Journal of Biochemistry & Cell Biology, vol. 135, 105972. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biocel.2021.105972

Certo, M, Elkafrawy, H, Pucino, V, Cucchi, D, Cheung, KCP & Mauro, C 2020, 'Endothelial cell and T-cell crosstalk: targeting metabolism as a therapeutic approach in chronic inflammation', British Journal of Pharmacology. https://doi.org/10.1111/bph.15002

Certo, M, Tsai, C-H, Pucino, V, Ho, P-C & Mauro, C 2020, 'Lactate modulation of immune responses in inflammatory versus tumour microenvironments', Nature Reviews Immunology. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41577-020-0406-2

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