A/Professor Claudia Nold is a pharmacist by training with broad expertise in cytokine biology, inflammation and immunology. After her graduation from pharmacy school in 2000, she was awarded a competitive three-year PhD Fellowship by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (the German NHMRC equivalent) and started her PhD at the Pharmazentrum Frankfurt, Germany.
This fellowship entailed a 6-month tenure at the Institute of Asthma and Allergy at the Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden. From 2006 until 2009 she held a post-doctoral position in Denver, Colorado, USA in the laboratory of Professor Charles A. Dinarello. In 2009, A/Prof Nold was recruited to The Ritchie Centre at Hudson Institute of Medical Research in Melbourne. In 2011 she was awarded the Christina Fleischmann Award of the International Society of Interferon and Cytokine Research.
The discovery of the anti-inflammatory function of IL-37, which Dr Nold copublished in Nature Immunology in 2010, had a major impact on the interleukin field and necessitated a reorganisation of the IL-1 family nomenclature. Five years later, she discovered the IL-37 receptor complex. Next, she and her team identified critical regions in the IL-37 structure and generated a modified IL-37 biologic with enhanced anti-inflammatory properties with the aim to develop immunotherapeutics for a range of inflammatory diseases.
Her research exemplifies the translational trajectory that is paramount to her laboratory: her team has also almost completed the bedside-to-bench-and-back circuit with their work on interleukin 1 receptor antagonist (IL-1Ra) in bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD). There is an urgent medical need to find the first safe and effective treatment for BPD in the neonatal intensive care unit, and the Nold laboratory showed in a preclinical model that IL-1Ra prevents the disease.
Her research in interventional immunology has been recognised by the Australian National Heart Foundation and the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council.