Wellcome Trust Intermediate Fellowship in Public Health and Tropical Medicine awarded to Dr MJ Marakalala

31 Jul 2017 - 11:15

Dr Mohlopheni Jackson Marakalala

Dr Mohlopheni Jackson Marakalala, Senior Lecturer in the Division of Immunology, Department of Pathology and Associate Member of the IDM, has been awarded a prestigious Wellcome Trust Intermediate Fellowship in Public Health and Tropical Medicine. The Fellowship is valued at GBP600,000 (~R10 million) over 5 years.

The Wellcome Trust Intermediary scheme helps mid-career researchers from low- and middle-income countries establish independent research programmes in those countries. The scheme aims to support research that will improve public health and tropical medicine at a local, national and global level. After submitting preliminary and then full applications, Marakalala was finally invited for an interview in June 2017, in London. He will begin his award in September.

Marakalala’s research will focus on human TB granulomas as targets for host-directed therapies and prediction of disease progression. For his application, Marakalala was sponsored by Professor Valerie Mizrahi, Director of the IDM. His collaborators on the project include Professor Robert Wilkinson (CIDRI_Africa), A/Professor Tom Scriba (SATVI), Dr Hlumani Ndlovu (IBMS) and Dr Michael Locketz (Anatomical Pathology), as well as international colleagues from the University of Oxford (Emeritus Professor Simon Gordon, expert on macrophage biology) and University of Harvard (Professor Eric Rubin, expert on infectious diseases and molecular genetics).

Marakalala is a fellow of the Next Einstein Forum, a recipient of the 2016 UCT College of Fellows Young Researcher Award and the 2016 SAMRC Scientific Merit award (Silver medal), and a Visiting Scientist (Adjunct) in the Department of Immunology and Infectious Diseases at Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health.