“Using technology to make healthy eating simple, we can actually affect health outcomes and reduce disease.”
After completing her Masters of Public Health in Biomedical Informatics, Caryn combined her passion for helping others with her love of food to come to work at Zipongo. Caryn manages data sciences and analytics for the company, helping users improve their health through personalized food recommendations and environmental changes. Prior to joining Zipongo, she worked at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on obesity prevention.
1. Tell us why you joined Zipongo. The digital health world is exploding with incredible technological breakthroughs that are changing the healthcare landscape. From telemedicine to predictive algorithms, there’s so much potential to improve health through technology. It’s through prevention that we can make the largest impact, helping people before they get sick. Zipongo focuses on food — the largest driver of chronic disease — to improve health. Using technology to make healthy eating simple, we can actually affect health outcomes and reduce disease.
I knew Zipongo would be a great fit with my background in public health and biomedical informatics. Especially as a data scientist, all the factors that affect eating and health make this a challenging and exciting problem to tackle.
2. What are you most proud of (personal or career-wise)? I founded a non-profit organization, Challah for Hunger at UCLA, when I was an undergrad at the university. Student volunteers came together to bake and sell delicious challah bread — from peanut butter nutella to sundried tomato basil — and the proceeds went to help refugees in Darfur. We also focused on advocacy and education, connecting students with local social justice organizations and providing a tangible way to make a difference. The organization is still thriving, and we have more than 70 chapters worldwide in the Challah for Hunger network. I was recently honored at the 10th anniversary celebration and am really proud to be part of such an incredible network.
3. What’s your favorite food spot in the city? I love nothing more than wandering around farmers’ markets and cooking with friends, but the best meal I’ve had in San Francisco (so far!) was at State Bird Provisions. The combinations — like sourdough ricotta pecorino pancakes with sauerkraut salt — were so unique, and every bite was exquisite.
4. Can you share something that ranks high on your bucket list? I’d love to complete a yoga certification course. I’m not sure that I’ll ever formally teach, but I’d like to deepen my practice and get more integrated in a yoga community.
Want to work with Caryn and the folks at Zipongo? Check out our current job openings.