Professor Claudio Mauro

Claudio Mauro

Institute of Inflammation and Ageing
Professorial Research Fellow in Metabolism and Inflammation

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 and leads a group of scientists working on basic and translational aspects of immunometabolism (e.g. Cardiov Res 2019, Cell Metab 2019, Brit J Pharmacol 2020).

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

If you are interested in studying/working with Professor Mauro please contact him directly on the contact details above, or for any general doctoral research enquiries, please email: dr@contacts.bham.ac.uk or call +44 (0)121 414 5005.

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, Brit J Pharmacol 2020).

Other activities

Editorial Board Member

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

External Committees

  • Arthritis Research UK Foundation Fellowships (2019)

Publications

Recent publications

Article

Pucino, V, Certo, M, Bulusu, V, Cucchi, D, Goldmann, K, Pontarini, E, Haas, R, Smith, J, Headland, SE, Blighe, K, Ruscica, M, Humby, F, Lewis, MJ, Kamphorst, JJ, Bombardieri, M, Pitzalis, C & Mauro, C 2019, 'Lactate Buildup at the Site of Chronic Inflammation Promotes Disease by Inducing CD4+ T Cell Metabolic Rewiring', Cell Metabolism, vol. 30, no. 6, pp. 1055-1074.e8. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cmet.2019.10.004

Cucchi, D, Camacho-muñoz, D, Certo, M, Niven, J, Smith, J, Nicolaou, A & Mauro, C 2019, 'Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids impinge on CD4+ T cell motility and adipose tissue distribution via direct and lipid mediator-dependent effects', Cardiovascular Research. https://doi.org/10.1093/cvr/cvz208

Papathanassiu, AE, Ko, J, Imprialou, M, Bagnati, M, Srivastava, PK, Vu, HA, Cucchi, D, Mcadoo, SP, Ananieva, EA, Mauro, C & Behmoaras, J 2017, 'BCAT1 controls metabolic reprogramming in activated human macrophages and is associated with inflammatory diseases', Nature Communications, vol. 8, pp. 16040. https://doi.org/10.1038/ncomms16040

Mauro, C, Smith, J, Cucchi, D, Coe, D, Fu, H, Bonacina, F, Baragetti, A, Cermenati, G, Caruso, D, Mitro, N, Catapano, AL, Ammirati, E, Longhi, MP, Okkenhaug, K, Norata, GD & Marelli-berg, FM 2017, 'Obesity-Induced Metabolic Stress Leads to Biased Effector Memory CD4+ T Cell Differentiation via PI3K p110δ-Akt-Mediated Signals', Cell Metabolism, vol. 25, no. 3, pp. 593-609. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cmet.2017.01.008

Kishore, M, Cheung, KCP, Fu, H, Bonacina, F, Wang, G, Coe, D, Ward, EJ, Colamatteo, A, Jangani, M, Baragetti, A, Matarese, G, Smith, DM, Haas, R, Mauro, C, Wraith, D, Okkenhaug, K, Catapano, AL, De Rosa, V, Norata, GD & Marelli-Berg, FM 2017, 'Regulatory T Cell Migration Is Dependent on Glucokinase-Mediated Glycolysis', Immunity, vol. 47, no. 5, pp. 875-889.e10. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.immuni.2017.10.017

Comment/debate

Cucchi, D & Mauro, C 2017, 'LACTB-mediated tumour suppression by increased mitochondrial lipid metabolism', Cell Death & Differentiation , vol. 24, no. 7, pp. 1137-1139. https://doi.org/10.1038/cdd.2017.60

Editorial

Dimeloe, S & Mauro, C 2019, 'Translating immunometabolism: towards curing human diseases by targeting metabolic processes underpinning the immune response', Clinical & Experimental Immunology, vol. 197, no. 2, pp. 141-142. https://doi.org/10.1111/cei.13347

Howie, D & Mauro, C 2018, 'Editorial: Metabolism and immune tolerance', Frontiers in immunology, vol. 9, 2678. https://doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2018.02678

Review article

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, Marone, G, de Paulis, A, Mauro, C & Pucino, V 2020, 'Lactate: fueling the fire starter', Wires Systems Biology and Medicine, vol. 12, no. 3, e1474, pp. 1-15. https://doi.org/10.1002/wsbm.1474

Pucino, V, Certo, M, Varricchi, G, Marone, G, Ursini, F, Rossi, FW, de Paulis, A, Mauro, C, Raza, K & Buckley, C 2020, 'Metabolic checkpoints in rheumatoid arthritis', Frontiers in Physiology, vol. 11, 347. https://doi.org/10.3389/fphys.2020.00347

Cucchi, D, Camacho-Muñoz, D, Certo, M, Pucino, V, Nicolaou, A & Mauro, C 2019, 'Fatty acids - from energy substrates to key regulators of cell survival, proliferation and effector function', Cell Stress - The journal of the European Research Institute for Integrated Cellular Pathology, vol. 4, no. 1, pp. 9-23. https://doi.org/10.15698/cst2020.01.209

Pucino, V, Cucchi, D & Mauro, C 2018, 'Lactate transporters as therapeutic targets in cancer and inflammatory disease', Expert Opinion on Therapeutic Targets. https://doi.org/10.1080/14728222.2018.1511706

Pucino, V, Bombardieri, M, Pitzalis, C & Mauro, C 2017, 'Lactate at the crossroads of metabolism, inflammation, and autoimmunity', European Journal of Immunology, vol. 47, no. 1, pp. 14-21. https://doi.org/10.1002/eji.201646477

Tang, C & Mauro, C 2017, 'Similarities in the Metabolic Reprogramming of Immune System and Endothelium', Frontiers in immunology, vol. 8, 837. https://doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2017.00837

View all publications in research portal