A Moment with Cynthia Castro Sweet is part of our interview series featuring thought leaders in research and healthcare. Each interview includes 7 short and stimulating questions.

Cynthia Castro Sweet, Ph.D. is the Senior Director of Clinical Research & Policy at Omada Health, Inc. For more from Dr. Castro Sweet, follow her on Twitter.

1. Tell us something we don’t know. (Anything!)

I’m a semi-pro pastry chef! I took a bunch of professional classes while working full-time in academic research, and even ran a small catering business for a while, but I never finished my certificate.

2. Which fiction book would you recommend to researchers and innovators in healthcare, and why?

It’s an oldie, but Sphere by Michael Crichton. I does a great job of juxtaposing impressive scientific / technologic achievements with the innermost demons that lurk inside of us.

3. What are you working on right now that you’re excited about?

At Omada Health we just started our first Fellowship training program and I’m mentoring a young investigator. Formal training programs (or even internships) are not common in digital health companies, so I’m proud of us for making this happen.

4. Who’s doing something that you admire in healthcare today, and why is it so cool?

I’ve been a long-time fan of CareMessage and CEO Vineet Singal. His company leverages technology to reach under-served communities to better engage them in healthcare.

5. What’s the biggest barrier to getting things done in your line of work?

There’s always too much to do and not enough time. It takes discipline to set priorities, tune out distractions, and keep grinding at a project until you’re done.

6. Imagine you win an award for impacting healthcare. What did you do?

I was recognized for my mentoring and have an impressive family tree of scientists who’s careers were shaped and advanced by my investment in them.

7. What advice would you give innovators in healthcare?

We need to appreciate and plan for the complexities that people bring with them when they need healthcare. I’ve never met someone who “just has diabetes” – we aren’t going to serve people well if we continue to reduce them down to their primary presenting problem. We need technology-enabled solutions that make integrated healthcare more feasible and accessible.


About Cynthia Castro Sweet

Cynthia Castro Sweet, Ph.D. is the Senior Director of Clinical Research & Policy at Omada Health, Inc. At Omada, she directs a program of research studies to validate the clinical and economic benefit of Omada’s disease prevention and self-management programs, all delivered through digital platforms. Prior to Omada, Cynthia was a staff scientist at the Stanford Prevention Research Center and managed federally funded clinical trials of community-based health promotion programs.

As a health behavior scientist, Cynthia’s career has focused on the design, testing, and dissemination of behavior change programs for health conditions that have root causes in human behavior. She has worked with researchers, health educators, engineers, and health care providers across the US, Canada, Ireland, Australia, Tanzania, and Mexico, among other places.

Cynthia graduated from Stanford University with a BA in psychology. She earned her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the SDSU/UCSD Joint Doctoral Program and then completed her clinical internship at the Palo Alto VA Health Care System. She then did a 2-year postdoctoral research fellowship at the Stanford Prevention Research Center in cardiovascular disease prevention. After all of these academic achievements, she capped off her educational journey by earning a solid F in an Introduction to Guitar course at a community college.

Written by: Aline Holzwarth