The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) is led and managed by a multidisciplinary team of experts who are committed to meeting public health demands in disease surveillance, outbreak management and response, research, epidemiology and training.
Executive director: Prof Adrian Puren
Prof Puren is the newly appointed Executive Director of the NICD since January 2022. Prof Adrian Puren was trained and held a lectureship at the University of the Witwatersrand, before taking on various positions at the NICD. Adrian was appointed as Deputy Director and Head of Virology in 1999 and Head of the Centre for HIV and STIs in 2017. As head of virology, he focused on developing and implementing a range of viral diagnostic platforms in support of the NICD’s EPI surveillance programmes and diagnostic support.
Adrian’s main interest is in the development of HIV surveillance programmes with a particular focus on HIV incidence and the use of “big data” to inform surveillance, monitoring and evaluation. Prof Puren heads the regional and national endpoint diagnostics laboratory for HVTN-supported vaccine and antibody-mediated preventions trials. He serves as the quality assurance technical manager for the NICD and in this capacity, he has provided support to the National Department of Health’s implementation and quality assurance of HIV rapid testing. Prof Puren serves on various expert bodies and the most recent is the South African Lancet Commission on High Quality Health in the era of Sustainable Development Goals.
NICD Deputy Director: Dr Natalie Mayet
Dr Natalie Mayet is the Deputy Director of the National Institute for Communicable Diseases and is the immediate past Chairperson of the International Association of National Public Health for Africa. Mayet graduated as a medical doctor from the University of Natal in 1983 and obtained further qualifications from the University of the Witwatersrand in Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, Public Health, Health Services Management, Occupational Health and an MPhil in Strategy from the Gordon Institute of Business Science. Dr Mayet`s portfolio includes Stakeholder Relations, Information Technology, Communications, the South African Field Epidemiology Training Program, Occupational Health and Biosafety and Biosecurity. She is involved in the strategic surveillance activities and supports the development of the National Public Health Institute (NPHI ) of South Africa with the National Department of Health. Dr Mayet is a Board Member of the Institute for Health and Social Sciences that focuses on injury and violence prevention, a Board member of the Southern African Centre, for Infectious Disease Surveillance (SACIDS) and a member of the Strategic Leadership Group of the Training Program in Epidemiology and Public Health Intervention Network (TEPHINET), she works closely with the Africa Centre for Disease Control and Prevention as a technical advisor in multiple working groups and is a mentor on the Africa CDC Kofi Anan Leadership Program.