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, and the application of mixed methods to understand health behavior and develop culturally salient interventions. In Tanzania, she currently leads an NIH-funded research program aimed at improving long-term HIV care engagement for pregnant and postpartum women. Her team is currently developing and testing an intervention to reduce HIV stigma and improve linkage to prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV (PMTCT) services. In Ghana, she leads a Bass Connections team to examine the multi-sectoral impacts of small-scale gold mining. Completed research includes the development and evaluation of mental health treatment for women with obstetric fistula in Tanzania, a pilot test of a coping intervention to support HIV care engagement in the context of sexual trauma in South Africa with Dr. Kathleen Sikkema, prevention of alcohol-exposed pregnancies in South Africa, and understanding HIV risk behaviors among individuals who use methamphetamine in South Africa.
Dr. Watt is the Director of Graduate Studies at DGHI, where she oversees the Master of Science in Global Health. She 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.