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Prof Puren is the newly appointed Acting Executive Director of the NICD since December 2020. 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.


  • –present
    Acting executive director, National Institute for Communicable Diseases