Diversity in Life Sciences

Initiatives to Enhance Diversity, Equity & Inclusion in Science


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Kelly Craig, PhD
Deputy Chief Science Officer

Dr. Kelly Jean (KJ) Thomas Craig is a Deputy Chief Science Officer within the Center for AI, Research, and Evaluation in IBM Watson Health’s HOPE team. In this role, she 1) informs strategy, design, and development of product offerings; 2) assists go-to-market and implementation efforts through data, evidence, and customer insights; 3) identifies and engages key internal and external healthcare stakeholders and communities; 4) designs and executes evidence-based research and its publication strategy to support sales and marketing; and 5) advances health equity through the design, implementation, and management of strategic initiatives to improve racial justice, workplace culture, data asset diversity, and use of digital technologies in healthcare.

Dr. Craig expertly executes high-quality intramural and extramural research across a broad range of therapeutic areas and topics including life sciences and HEOR, public health, digital health technology evaluation, provider assessment, and health equity. She prepares evidence-based deliverables that address the value of data analytics, AI, and digital health technologies on health and healthcare in government, life sciences, payer, and provider markets.

Prior to joining IBM, she was a Principal Investigator exploring the pathophysiology of disease in basic, translational, and clinical research projects leading teams at the NIA/NIH, a healthcare institution, and in academia. Formerly as a tenured Associate Professor of Biological Sciences, she synthesized and presented medical educational programming and its deliverables for many clinical areas with an emphasis in neuroscience, oncology, cardiology, metabolism, and immunology. She acquired grant funding to manage an undergraduate research laboratory and mentored students in the life sciences. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship in oncology and endocrinology for preclinical product development and facilitated clinical trials management at a community hospital serving a diverse population across a large and rural geographic region. She served on the community health steering committee for the design and execution of local programs to improve health and healthcare with a focus on equity-driven interventions.

She obtained her PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Georgetown University studying mitochondrial contributions to neurodegenerative disease etiology. Her dissertation covered the biological areas of neuroscience, metabolism, cell biology, and genomics. Dr. Craig also earned a teaching certificate in science communication.

Mentor: Jan E. Leach, PhD

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