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Dr Gabriel TM Mashabela
Specialist Scientist
Contact Info
Tel: +27 21 938 9158
BSc Honours: University of the North, 2003
MSc: upgraded to PhD in 2005
PhD – Chemical Pathology, University of Cape Town, 2013

Dr Mashabela is a biochemist with a PhD degree in Chemical Pathology from the University of Cape Town. His multidisciplinary PhD project involved the development of HPLC based enzyme assays and elucidation of complex and unique transsulfuration catalytic mechanism mediated by OvoA and EgtB in ovothiol and ergothioneine biosynthesis, respectively. Through the Swiss Government Excellence Fellowship (ESKAS), he joined the lab of Prof, Florian Seebeck at Basel University in Switzerland for one-year postdoctoral fellowship where he developed HPLC methods for isolation of different intermediates of ovothiol and ergothioneine, which were used in vitro enzyme assays and crystallographic studies. Dr Mashabela later joined the lab of Prof. Valerie Mizrahi at the University of Cape Town working on two projects funded through NRF and NIH funded grants. The first project involved development of methods for isolation and LC-MS/MS detection and quantification of different variants of vitamin B12 and pseudo-vitamin B12 produced in Mycobacterial cultures. The second project focused on evaluating permeation dynamics of different experimental antitubercular drugs in human macrophages.  In late 2018, he joined SAMRC and formed a research group within the Centre for TB Research that conducts both basic and translational research on TB drug discovery, currently funded through two grants, Grand Challenges Africa, Drug Discovery-2 and NRF Competitive Support for Unrated Researchers awarded to him. Currently, our research is focused on the following areas: (1) Identification and validation of vulnerable drug targets in Mycobacteria. (2) Investigation of the metabolic mechanisms that enable Mycobacterium tuberculosis to survive the host chemical defenses. (3) Application of genomic tools to generate innovative Mycobacterial model organisms suitable for target mechanism-based whole-cell screening. (4) Early drug development and evaluation, through screening of mixtures and pure compounds against different mycobacterial strains. Dr Mashabela is also involved in postgraduate teaching programs at the University of Stellenbosch Division of Molecular Biology and Human Genetics and serve on sub-committees of Metabolomics South Africa.