A Moment with Kate Wolin is part of our interview series featuring thought leaders in research and healthcare. Each interview includes 7 short and stimulating questions.
Dr. Kate Wolin is an entrepreneurial executive and behavioral epidemiologist. She brings over 20 years of experience combining behavioral medicine, user-centered design and data science to deliver effective health behavior change solutions. Dr. Wolin’s unique combination of academic and commercial expertise threads the needle between evidence-based approaches and commercialization. For more from Kate, find her on Twitter.
1. Tell us something we don’t know. (Anything!)
I have had a standing 6:15am Thursday morning meeting for three years and it is typically the highlight of my week.
2. Which fiction book would you recommend to researchers and innovators in healthcare, and why?
Little Pea by Amy Krause Rosenthal — Sometimes the things we need to remember are not all that complicated. Plus it is super cute.
3. What are you working on right now that you’re excited about?
Mentoring! I have the privilege of mentoring entrepreneurs at Kellogg (Northwestern) and I find each of them inspiring!
4. Who’s doing something that you admire in healthcare today, and why is it so cool?
Kevin O’Leary & Ryan Russell at Health Tech Nerds. They have created a community where people are generous in sharing their knowledge and expertise. I learn something from the community almost daily.
5. What’s the biggest barrier to getting things done in your line of work?
Meetings. So many meetings.
6. Imagine you win an award for impacting healthcare. What did you do?
Built a digital healthcare product (& corresponding business model) that led to a clinically meaningful improvement in outcomes for a historically underserved population.
7. What advice would you give innovators in healthcare?
Keep going. Healthcare is the double black diamond of innovation and entrepreneurship AND the opportunity for impact is huge!
About Kate Wolin
Dr. Kate Wolin is an entrepreneurial executive and behavioral epidemiologist. She brings over 20 years of experience combining behavioral medicine, user-centered design and data science to deliver effective health behavior change solutions. Dr. Wolin’s unique combination of academic and commercial expertise threads the needle between evidence-based approaches and commercialization.
Dr. Wolin leads Product for Optum’s Direct-to-Consumer business the Optum Store. At Circea, she consulted with a wide-range of companies on integrating behavioral science into product strategy to create a more personalized and engaging experience and better results. She was previously was CEO and co-founder of ScaleDown, a clinically-proven weight loss program that leverages the science of self-regulation and daily self weighing. ScaleDown was acquired by Anthem, Inc in December 2017. Dr. Wolin also served as Chief Science Officer and a member of the executive leadership team at a private-equity backed employer health company.
Dr. Wolin co-leads the venture track for the Zell Fellows Entrepreneurial Fellowship Program at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. She is a mentor in the UnitedHealthcare Accelerator powered by Techstars. Dr. Wolin also serves on the board of Prismatic, a non-profit dedicated to teach youth the skills to advance, lead and pivot with resiliency.
She is a co-founder of Coeus Health, which aims to speed the translation of research tested health and wellness programs to the real world. Coeus Health was awarded SBIR by NIDDK to develop a white-labelable evidence-based weight management program with a goal of easing the integration of cost-effective solutions into a wide range of settings. Dr. Wolin was also an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the University of Chicago.
Dr. Wolin spent her early career conducting academic research at the intersection of lifestyle behaviors and chronic-disease outcomes before transitioning to the private sector. She built an international reputation, generating more than $4 million in federal research funding and contributing to over 75 peer-reviewed publications and numerous books. She served on the faculty at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis / Siteman Cancer Center and Loyola University Chicago’s Stritch School of Medicine. Dr. Wolin was a member of the leadership group that developed the first set clinical exercise guidelines for cancer survivors and contributed to the development of the first validated disease risk assessment tools. She was a frequent presenter on the science behind prevention in community settings and national news media. She continues to serve on NIH Study Sections, scientific advisory panels and national research committees.
Dr. Wolin obtained her bachelor’s degree in anthropology from Tufts University, summa cum laude. She earned her doctorate in epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health, with minors in biostatistics and health behavior, where she was an NCI pre-doctoral fellow. She completed a NCI post-doctoral fellowship in cancer epidemiology in the Department of Preventive Medicine at Northwestern University.