About the Lab

IDEAS for Hope is a program of research led by Dr. Brandon Knettel, a licensed psychologist and assistant professor at the Duke University School of Nursing and Duke Global Health Institute. The primary focus of the research team is to improve access to mental health services in low-resource setting, including studies that are advancing care for people living with HIV and people with cancer in Tanzania.

The IDEAS team is making its mark in global health research. In 2021, Dr. Knettel won the Duke Center for AIDS Research (CFAR) Director’s Award as the Duke investigator who contributed the most “added value” to CFAR programs in the previous calendar year. In 2022, the team won the award for best international poster from Division 52 International Psychology at the American Psychological Association’s annual conference.

Our flagship study, focused on developing a telehealth counseling intervention to prevent suicide among people living with HIV in Tanzania, is supported by a Career Development grant awarded to Dr. Knettel by the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health (K08 MH124459)

As a professor at Duke, Dr. Knettel teaches a graduate-level course in Global Mental Health and leads mental health research locally and abroad. Two of the studies; Exploring Cancer Stigma In Sub-Saharan Africa (ECaSSA) and IDEAS for Hope, both based in Tanzania, are works of collaboration between Duke and researchers from Tanzania. Locally, Dr. Knettel heads pilot research focused on to increasing access of treatment for opioid use disorder in North Carolina.

The IDEAS team at the 2021 Implementation Meeting at the Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre (KCMC) in Moshi, Tanzania.

ECaSSA team preparing for the June 2022 implementation meeting.