#162 Citizen Science and Personalising Health with Jonathan Wolf from ZOE

31 Aug 2022

Today I’m talking with tech entrepreneur and co-founder of the nutrition app Zoe, Jonathan Wolf. We dive into his story of starting in physics, moving into the world of tech during the tech boom and ultimately applying his knowledge of how machine learning works to the complex world of nutrition science.

If you’re a podcast fan you’ll know just how convoluted nutritional science can be, the pitfalls of dieting as well as the lack of personalisation. I’m a firm believer in the utility of more investigations to determine our health status and ultimately help us achieve more consistency in our healthy habits, and you’ll hear how Zoe is trying to do this.

Today we chat about

  • Johnathan’s background in start ups
  • The citizen science projects
  • Why nutrition science is so confusing and misguided
  • The vision for Zoe
  • Future research studies
  • What actions Jonathan has taken personally to improve his health

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GUEST: Jonathan Wolf

Jonathan is cofounder of health technology company ZOE. ZOE teaches you how your own body responds to food, based on personalised tests, AI and the largest in-depth nutritional study in the world carried out with Mass General Hospital, Stanford Medicine and King's College London. He is also cofounder of ZOE's COVID Symptom Study, the largest study of COVID in the world with over 4 million users. The study is now funded by the UK government and provides real-time monitoring of COVID cases, support for vaccine trials and crucial scientific research with KCL such as papers in Nature Medicine on which symptoms predict COVID, the importance of anosmia and the first systematic study of long COVID.

Previously he was Chief Product Officer at Criteo which was a 30 person start-up when he joined. Seven years later when he left it was public on NASDAQ, with over 2,000 people and over $1Bn revenue of revenue. In that time Jonathan built the product organisation, created the publisher and midmarket sales organisation, and opened the New York office. Prior to this Jonathan worked at Yahoo!

Jonathan attended Oxford University where he received the Gibbs prize for Physics and was President of the Oxford Union, and was then at Harvard. He has been a Foundation Fellow at Corpus Christi College Oxford since 2015.

with Jonathan Wolf
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