Professor Liesl Zühlke trained as a paediatric cardiologist in Cape Town, South Africa and Dusseldorf, Germany. She earned her MPH in clinical research methods, and a doctorate on outcomes in rheumatic heart disease both from the University of Cape Town. She achieved C1 rating with the South African National Research Council (NRF) for her work in paediatric cardiology and RHD, in 2016 and was promoted to the rank of Professor within the Department of Paediatrics and Child Health in the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Cape Town in November 2019.

Prof Zühlke has received a number of awards including an academic excellence award from the Discovery Foundation, a US National Institutes of Health Fogarty Fellowship, a Wellcome Clinical Infectious Disease Research Initiative Fellowship award and an early career Thrasher award in addition to the Hamilton Naki Clinical Scholarship, an award given to clinical scholars of excellence. She is past-president of the Paediatric Cardiac Society of South Africa, and of the South African Heart Association and the current president of Reach as well as chairperson of the paediatric task-force of the Pan-African Society of Cardiology (PASCAR).