Mohlopheni Jackson Marakalala is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Cape Town’s Department of Pathology. His research focuses on understanding immune factors associated with the pathological progression of tuberculosis (TB) with a view to develop new therapies to augment current treatment protocols. He obtained his BSc and Honours degrees in Biochemistry and Microbiology from the University of Limpopo. After completing his PhD in Chemical Pathology from UCT, Dr Marakalala undertook a postdoctoral fellowship at the university’s Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine (IDM), leading projects which investigated the role of host innate immune response in TB and fungal infections. In 2010 he was awarded the Sydney Brenner Fellowship from Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf). In 2012 he joined Harvard University for a four-year postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Immunology and Infectious Diseases. He has published his research in leading journals, including Nature Medicine, PNAS, Plos Pathogens and Cell Host Microbes and presented his research in local and international conferences. He is currently an Associate Member of the IDM at UCT and a Visiting Scientist at Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health. Dr Marakalala has garnered numerous awards including the SAMRC’s Merit Award for Outstanding Young Scientist; UCT’s College of Fellows Young Researcher Award; and the Bronte Stewart Best PhD Research Prize. He was named a Fellow of the Next Einstein Forum, and honoured as a World Economic Forum (WEF) Young Scientist. He recently received the Wellcome Trust Intermediate Fellowship in Tropical Medicine and Public Health.