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Associate Members

Mohlopheni Jackson Marakalala

TB Immunopathogenesis Group

Mohlopheni Jackson Marakalala

Senior Lecturer, Division of Immunology, Department of Pathology, Faculty of Health Sciences, UCT; Visiting Scientist (adjunct), Harvard T.H Chan School of Public Health, USA

BSc (Limpopo), PhD (University of Cape Town). Postdoctoral training 2008-2012 with Professor Gordon Brown, IDM, University of Cape Town on innate Immunology/TB and candidiasis animal and cell culture models; 2012 to 2016 with Professor Eric Rubin, Harvard University on immunology and infectious diseases and molecular biology. Personal awards include SA Medical Research Council Scientific Merit award (Silver medal) October 2016; UCT 2016 College of Fellows Young Researcher Award; Honoured as Fellow of the Next Einstein Forum, awarded to 15 young scientists throughout Africa, who are using science as a platform to solve global challenges, March 2016; Honoured as a World Economic Forum Young Scientist, at the WEF New Champions meeting, Dalian, China. September 2015, and June 2016, Tianjin, China; Sydney Brenner Fellowship awarded by the Academy of Sciences of South Africa 2010-2012; Bronte Stewart Research Prize for the most meritorious PhD thesis in the Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, 2008.

KEY EXPERTISE: Host factors driving immunopathogenesis during TB progression using molecular histology techniques; mycobacterial genes for host survival


Selected publications:

Ndlovu H, Marakalala MJ. Granulomas and inflammation: host-directed therapies for tuberculosis. Front. Immunol. 2016 October 24, 7:434.

Marakalala MJ, Raju RM, Sharma K, Zhang YJ, Eugenin EA, Prideaux B, Daudelin IB, Chen P, Booty MG, Kim JH, Eum SY, Via LE, Behar SM, Barry III CE, Mann M, Dartois V, Rubin EJ. Inflammatory signaling in human tuberculosis granulomas is spatially organized. Nature Medicine. 2016 May; 22(5):531-8.

Wilson GJ, Marakalala MJ, Hoving JC, van Laarhoven A, Drummond RA, Kerscher B, Keeton R, van de Vosse E, Ottenhoff THM, Plantinga TS, Alisjahbana B, Govender D, Besra GS, Netea MG, Reid DM, Willment JA, Jacobs M, Yamasaki S, van Crevel R, Brown GD. CLECSF8 (CLEC4D) is an essential component of anti-mycobacterial immunity. Cell Host Microbe. 2015 Feb 11;17(2):252-9.

Mavrici D, Marakalala MJ, Holton JM, Prigozhin DM, Gee CL, Zhang YJ, Rubin EJ, Alber T. Mycobacterium tuberculosis FtsX extracellular domain activates the peptidoglycan hydrolase, RipC. PNAS. 2014 Jun 3;111(22):8037-42.

Marakalala MJ, Vautier S, Potrykus J, Walker LA, Shepardson KM, Hopke A, Mora-Montes HM, Kerrigan A, Netea MG, Murray GI, Maccallum DM, Wheeler R, Munro CA, Gow NA, Cramer RA, Brown AJ, Brown GD. Differential adaptation of Candida albicans in vivo modulates immune recognition by Dectin-1. PLoS Pathogens. 2013 Apr;9(4):e1003315.

Marakalala MJ, Williams DL, Hoving JC, Engstad R, Netea MG, Brown GD. Dectin-1 plays a redundant role in the immunomodulatory activities of -glucan-rich ligands in vivo. Microbes and Infection. 2013 Jun;15(6-7):511-5

Contact details:

Division of Immunology, Department of Pathology
Room 3.27, Falmouth Building (entrance 2, use lift to floor 3)
Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine
Faculty of Health Sciences
University of Cape Town
Observatory 7925
South Africa

Tel:  +27 21 406 6616

Alternate site:




Dr Raju Mukherjee, Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Tirupati

Prof Eric Rubin, Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, USA

Dr Maximiliano Gutierrez, The Francis Crick Institute


South African

Associate Prof Thomas Scriba, SATVI, UCT

Prof Robert Wilkinson, CIDRI-AFRICA, UCT

Prof Muazzam Jacobs, Immunology, UCT

Dr Michael Locketz, Anatomical Pathology, UCT

Prof Nonhlanhla Khumalo, Dermatology, UCT