Meet Our Research Team
Founder & CEO
Alastair Van Heerden
Alastair is Director of the Centre for Community Based Research at the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) and an Honorary Associate Professor in Clinical Medicine at the University of Witwatersrand, South Africa. He has over 10 years of experience conducting clinical, behavioral and community-based research throughout East and Southern Africa, Nepal and Brazil. He has an interdisciplinary focus to his research which combines his interest in technology for development and public health.
Adam Brown is Associate Professor of Psychology and Vice Provost for Research. He is a clinical psychologist whose research focuses on identifying psychological and biological factors that contribute to negative mental health outcomes following exposure to traumatic stress and developing interventions guided by advances in cognitive neuroscience. A focus of this research is the use of behavioral and brain-imaging techniques to examine the role of memory and self-appraisals in the onset and treatment of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
Brandon Kohrt, MD, PhD, is Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. As an internationally recognized global mental health expert, he works with populations affected by war-related trauma, torture, environmental disasters, and chronic stressors of poverty, discrimination, and lack of access to healthcare. Dr. Kohrt has worked in Nepal since 1996 and has been advisor to Transcultural Psychosocial Organization (TPO) Nepal since 2006. He has collaborated with The Carter Center Mental Health Program in Liberia since 2010. He has investigated the mental health consequences of and designed interventions for child soldiers and earthquake survivors in Nepal. He collaborated on development of a Nepali school-based youth suicide prevention program. In Liberia, he designed programs to reduce stigma among youth and adults impacted by mental illness, political violence, and the Ebola virus outbreak, and co-designed a Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) program for police officers. He has collaborated on interventions for children with Nodding Syndrome in Uganda and children affected by HIV and political violence in Nigeria. In addition, he has worked in Uganda, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Mongolia, Haiti and India.
Dr. Kohrt has published over 100 peer reviewed articles and book chapters. He co-edited the book Global Mental Health: Anthropological Perspectives, which was honored with the creative scholarship award of the Society for the Study of Psychiatry and Culture. He has received research funding from NIMH, Grand Challenges Canada, UNICEF, the Fulbright Program, HopeLab, and the Jacobs Foundation. His clinical work addresses cross-cultural psychiatry specializing in refugees and immigrant populations. He founded the Atlanta Asylum Network for Torture Survivors and consults on suicide prevention programs for Bhutanese Nepali refugees. Dr. Kohrt has developed a global mental health training program in Nepal for students in medicine, public health, and anthropology.