About Us

The Shame Lab grew out of many years of research, creative work, personal reflection, and meaningful collaboration. In developing The Shame Lab, we spent a lot of time thinking about how we want to transform our world and how shame competence can be the catalyst for that transformation. 

Who We Are

The Shame Lab is a research, training, and consultancy organization based between the University of Exeter and Duke University. We conduct academic research about shame and its effects in professional practice, and we provide consultancy and training in Shame Competence.

Our Mission

To empower people, strengthen teams, and transform organizations through constructive engagement with shame. 

Our Vision

To create a shame competent world.

Our Story

The Shame Lab grew out of ongoing collaboration between its founders, Luna Dolezal and Will Bynum, whose individual scholarly work on shame in healthcare coalesced through two major creative projects: The award-winning Nocturnists' Shame in Medicine: The Lost Forest podcast series and The Shame Space consortium. Serendipitously, and after beginning their work together, Luna and Will learned of the formal partnership shared by their institutions, and they have been the recipients of two awards from the Duke-Exeter Fund through which they built The Shame Space and its numerous initiatives. Recognizing an opportunity to combine their efforts and expand their work together, Luna and Will founded The Shame Lab in March 2023.

Our Team

Will Bynum,

Will is a co-founder of The Shame Lab and a family medicine physician who practices and teaches medicine and researches shame at the Duke University School of Medicine.

Luna Dolezal,

Luna is a co-founder of The Shame Lab and an academic philosopher who researches shame and leads the Shame and Medicine project at the University of Exeter.

James Woodhams, PhD

James is the commercialization manager of The Shame Lab who supports academics through the Enterprise & Innovations Programmes Team at Univ of Exeter.

Vivienne "Viv" Bates

Viv is the project manager for the Shame Competence for Trauma Informed Practitioners-Plymouth Project

Anna Kulawiec,

Anna is a 4th year medical student at Duke University and a research intern with The Shame Lab, co-leading a project on shame engagement

Sophie Bassil

Sophie is an undergraduate student at the University of Exeter and a Technology Transfer Intern assigned to work with The Shame Lab