Dr Mohlopheni Jackson Marakalala obtained BSc and BSc (Hons) degrees in biochemistry at the University of Limpopo in 2003. As a Canon Collins Scholar he commenced an MSc Med in 2004 at the University of Cape Town with Prof Daan Steenkamp in the Division of Chemical Pathology. For his project, which was upgraded to a PhD in 2006, Marakalala worked on drug development for TB and MDR-TB, with a focus on the inhibition of essential enzymes in the biosynthesis of Mycothiol, the major antioxidant in Mycobacterium tuberculosis. His PhD was conferred with the Bronte Steward award for the most meritorious thesis submitted by a doctoral student in 2008. He then joined the Institute of Infectious Diseases and Molecular Medicine, Division of Immunology, in August 2008 as a postdoctoral fellow under the mentorship of Professor Gordon Brown, where he is investigating the role of Dectin-1 in innate immunity to various infectious diseases, including Tuberculosis, Fungal infections, Staphylococcus aureus and recently, the role of this receptor and Beta-glucans in anti-cancer immunity.