Interventional Immunology in Early Life Diseases

Inflammation is the driver of most newborn disease, particularly in preterm babies. Early diagnosis of the underlying cause of inflammation in newborns is difficult and there are limited safe and effective treatments. The Nold team is developing novel diagnostics and treatments to close this gap for vulnerable newborns. 

Overview | Inflammation in newborns

Preterm delivery exposes 13.4 million babies worldwide and around 26,000 in Australia to serious early-life diseases every year. Inflammation is a major driver of newborn disease and is of critical importance in 13 of the 16 leading causes of death for children under the age of five worldwide. Newborns who survive are at risk for a range of short and long-term disabilities.

The Nold group of clinicians and scientists aim to better understand how inflammation drives newborn and early-life diseases of the premature heart and lung such as bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD), pulmonary hypertension associated with BPD (BPD-PH) and necrotising enterocolitis (NEC) affecting the immature gut.

Their goal is to generate novel immunological insights in the field of newborn and early-life disease, which will assist in the design of new diagnostic techniques and underpin the development of innovative anti-inflammatory drugs. The mission is to advance in the care of infants and children, making a life-long difference to the lives of vulnerable infants.

“Our goal is to progress the development of safe and effective therapies that give pediatric patients a chance for the healthy and happy future they deserve.” Professor Claudia Nold

Areas of focus

  • Novel anti-inflammatory therapies to improve child health
  • Diagnostic innovations for preterm babies, our tiniest patients


A/ProfAndrew EllisdonBiomedicine Discovery Institute, Monash University, MelbourneAustralia
ProfessorAlex VeldmanDepartment of Pediatrics, St. Vincenz Hospital, LimburgGermany
ProfessorPhil HansbroCentre for Inflammation, Centenary Institute and University of Technology, SydneyAustralia
ProfessorJose PoloAdelaide Centre for Epigenetics, University of Adelaide.Australia
DrGergely ToldiLiggins Institute, University of AucklandNew Zealand


Research Group

Selected publications

  • 1 | Nold MF, Mangan NE, Rudloff I, Cho SX, Shariatian N, Samarasinghe TD, Skuza EM, Veldman A, Berger PJ, Nold-Petry, CA (2013) Interleukin 1 receptor antagonist prevents murine bronchopulmonary dysplasia induced by perinatal inflammation and hyperoxia. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 110(35):14384-89.

  • 2 | Rudloff I, Cho SX, Bui CB, McLean C, Veldman A, Berger PJ, Nold MF, Nold-Petry CA (2017). Refining anti-inflammatory therapy strategies for bronchopulmonary dysplasia. J Cell Mol Med. 2017 Jun;21(6):1128-1138. doi: 10.1111/jcmm.13044. Epub 2016 Dec 13. PMID: 27957795; PMCID: PMC5431131.

  • 3 | Nold MF, Nold-Petry CA, Zepp JA, Palmer BE, Bufler P, Dinarello CA (2010) IL-37 is a fundamental inhibitor of innate immunity. Nat Immunol 11(11):1014-22.

  • 4 | Nold-Petry CA, Lo CY, Rudloff I, Elgass KD, Li S, Gantier MP, Lotz-Havla AS, Gersting SW, Cho SX, Lao JC, Ellisdon AM, Rotter B, Azam T, Mangan NE, Rossello FJ, Whisstock JC, Bufler P, Garlanda C, Mantovani A, Dinarello CA, Nold MF (2015) IL-37 requires the receptors IL-18Ralpha and IL-1R8 (SIGIRR) to carry out its multifaceted anti-inflammatory program upon innate signal transduction. Nat Immunol 16(4):354-65.

  • 5 | Ellisdon AM, Nold-Petry CA, D’Andrea L, Cho SX, Lao JC, Rudloff I, Ngo D, Lo CY, Soares da Costa TP, Perugini MA, Conroy PJ, Whisstock JC, Nold MF (2017). Homodimerization attenuates the anti-inflammatory activity of interleukin-37. Sci Immunol. 2017 Feb 10;2(8):eaaj1548. doi: 10.1126/sciimmunol.aaj1548. PMID: 28783685.

  • 6 | Cho SX, Rudloff I, Lao JC, Pang MA, Goldberg R, Bui CB, McLean CA, Stock M, Klassert TE, Slevogt H, Mangan NE, Cheng W, Fischer D, Gfroerer S, Sandhu MK, Ngo D, Bujotzek A, Lariviere L, Schumacher F, Tiefenthaler G, Beker F, Collins C, Kamlin COF, König K, Malhotra A, Tan K, Theda C, Veldman A, Ellisdon AM, Whisstock JC, Berger PJ, Nold-Petry CA, Nold MF (2020). Characterization of the pathoimmunology of necrotizing enterocolitis reveals novel therapeutic opportunities. Nat Commun. 2020 Nov 13;11(1):5794. doi: 10.1038/s41467-020-19400-w. PMID: 33188181; PMCID: PMC7666196.

  • 7 | Rudloff I, Godsell J, Nold-Petry CA, Harris J, Hoi A, Morand EF, Nold MF (2015). Brief Report: Interleukin-38 Exerts Antiinflammatory Functions and Is Associated With Disease Activity in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus. Arthritis Rheumatol. 2015 Dec;67(12):3219-25. doi: 10.1002/art.39328. PMID: 26314375.

  • 8 | Cho SX, Berger PJ, Nold-Petry CA, Nold MF (2016). The immunological landscape in necrotising enterocolitis. Expert Rev Mol Med. 2016 Jun 24;18:e12. doi: 10.1017/erm.2016.13. PMID: 27341512; PMCID: PMC5001507.