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Melissa Watt

Adjunct Associate Professor of Global Health
Duke Global Health Institute
Box 90519, Trent Hall 333, Durham, NC 27708
Trent Hall, Room 329, BOX_90519, Durham, NC 27708


Dr. Watt's research focuses on understanding and addressing gender-specific health issues in sub-Saharan Africa, with specific attention to HIV, substance use and mental health. In Tanzania, she currently leads an implementation science study aimed at improving access to long-term antiretroviral therapy for pregnant women with HIV. In South Africa, she is collaborating with Dr. Kathleen Sikkema on a study to support HIV care engagement in the context of sexual trauma. In Ghana, she is supporting a team of DGHI graduate students in Global Health to examine the impact of community health workers on the uptake of family planning. Completed research includes the development and evaluation of mental health treatment for women with obstetric fistula in Tanzania, prevention of alcohol-exposed pregnancies in South Africa, and understanding HIV risk behaviors among individuals who use methamphetamine in South Africa.

Dr. Watt directs the Master of Science in Global Health at DGHI and serves as the Associate Director for the Social and Behavioral Sciences Core of the Duke Center for AIDS Research. She has a Ph.D. in Health Behavior from the University of North Carolina, and an M.A. in Gender and Development from the University of Sussex in the U.K.

Current Appointments & Affiliations

Adjunct Associate Professor of Global Health · 2020 - Present Duke Global Health Institute, University Institutes and Centers

Education, Training & Certifications

University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill · 2008 Ph.D.