It was about helping bottlenose dolphins.
We began our studies to understand how changes in the ocean impact the dietary needs of these amazing mammals.
But before we get into that, a little about us...
We’re partners — in life and purpose.
Two serial entrepreneurs, dedicated to service.
Stephanie Venn-Watson, DVM, MPH
- CO-FOUNDER & CEO
- Veterinary Epidemiologist.
- Public Health Scientist.
- 40 patents + 70 peer-reviewed scientific publications.
- 2 decades of leading efforts to understand and improve dolphin health.
- CO-FOUNDER & COO
- US Navy Veteran.
- 20+ years as a Military Physician.
- Launched and led 3 life science companies.
- Supports entrepreneurship programs for military Veterans in San Diego.
Stephanie served as an epidemiologist tracking diseases for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization. She co-founded the National Marine Mammal Foundation and is a recipient of the Department of Health and Human Services Secretary’s Award for Innovations in Health Promotion and Disease Prevention.
Eric held multiple leadership roles as a US Navy military physician, with combat deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. Experienced in growing companies with medical technologies, he was awarded the 'Best Entrepreneur' in the Startup Company Category at the Veteran and Military Conference and Awards.
Now back to the dolphins.
To see how these human-like mammals were affected by changes in the ocean and the fish they eat, we looked at two groups:
San Diego, CA
But even though both populations were generally healthy, we noticed something strange.
A tale of two pods.
The California Pod
More dolphins with aging-related conditions.
The Florida Pod
Fewer dolphins with aging-related conditions.
And those aging-related conditions?
They’re the precursors to diabetes, heart disease and stroke in humans.
So what was the difference?
The Florida pod ate different fish than their California friends. Fish with higher levels of fatty acid C15:0 (aka FA15™).
When the California pod switched to fish with higher levels of C15:0 (aka FA15™), their aging-related conditions stabilized and their cells stabilized, too.
Bottlenose dolphins are a lot like us.
They live for a long time. They’re social and intelligent. And they can develop aging-related conditions.
But with our fatty15 breakthrough, we’re just getting started helping both humans and dolphins age in healthier ways.*
We believe that if we can impact health at its core, we can change the world from the inside, out.
The team behind the vision.
Society spent a generation avoiding fat, we’ve dedicated our lives to harnessing it.
Stephanie Venn-Watson, DVM, MPH
Steph is a serial entrepreneur of for-profit and not-for-profit companies, a veterinary epidemiologist and public health scientist with over 40 patents and 70 peer-reviewed scientific publications, and previously served as an epidemiologist tracking diseases for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and World Health Organization.
Eric Venn-Watson, MD, MBA
Eric is a practicing physician and entreprenuer. He served over 25 years as a Navy and Marine Corps physician, working with the special forces community to improve their health and fitness. Additionally, Eric founded multiple companies in the drug discovery, healthcare analytics, and medical device industries. He is passionate about developing medical technologies that improve the practice and delivery of healthcare on a global scale.
Kim Kamdar, PhD
Board Chair, Co-Founder
Kim is a Managing Partner of Domain Associates, a life sciences venture capital firm, and has been involved in numerous cutting-edge therapeutic start-ups. She was also a research director at Novartis, where she led a team to uncover small molecules that modulated signaling pathway networks.
Nicholas Schork, PhD
Senior Scientist, Co-Founder
Nicholas is a Distinguished Professor and Director of the Quantitative Medicine and Systems Biology Division at Translational Genomics Institute, an affiliate of The City of Hope. In addition, as a leader in the design and analysis of studies of longevity, Nicholas is Scientific Director for the National Institute of Health’s National Institute of Aging-sponsored Longevity Consortium.
Chief Financial Officer
Mike is a CPA, a professor in UC San Diego’s MBA program, and an experienced executive, having served as CEO of two publicly traded companies. Mike has advised and led companies ranging from start-ups to multi-billion dollar global firms in the food, technology, medical device, and aerospace industries.
Dennis Bernstein, MBA
VP of Marketing & Growth
Dennis is a marketing and brand builder, with an entrepreneurial mindset. He has 20+ years of experience leading the development of innovative brands and launching successful consumer products into the marketplace, working at some of the most rapidly evolving Omni-channel and DTC companies, including Procter & Gamble and Dollar Shave Club. Dennis developed and led such projects as the Thank you Mom campaign for the London Olympics and global launches for the Crest/Oral B and Gillette brands.
Edward Dennis, PhD
Ed is a Distinguished Professor of Chemistry, Biochemistry and Pharmacology specializing in lipid research at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine. Ed, who is a graduate of Yale University and Harvard University, was Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Lipid Research and has 375 peer-reviewed publications, including roles of fatty acids in health.
Ronald Krauss, MD
Ron is a Senior Scientist and Director of Atherosclerosis Research at Children's Hospital Oakland Research Institute and Adjunct Professor in the Department of Medicine at UCSF and the Department of Nutritional Sciences at UC Berkeley. Ron is a graduate of Harvard University, is board-certified in internal medicine, endocrinology and metabolism, and is a Fellow of the American Society of Nutrition and American Heart Association. He has 450 peer-reviewed publications, including leading papers on dairy-based fats and health.
Head of Consumer Experience & Engagement
Ali is an expert when it comes to marketing and community building, with the number one priority of always putting the customer first. Ali's mission is to make customers’ feel like friends and part of the fatty15 family, helping people with any requests. With over 23+ years of marketing experience on both the agency and client side of the business building communities, at companies like Empower MediaMarketing, Ali enjoys bringing her personable nature to the fatty15 family.
Head of Content and Community
Ken is a marketing professional and content creator who loves a good time. With over 10 years of experience working for direct-to-consumer brands and major fashion retailers like Bloomingdale’s and Victoria’s Secret, his mission is to develop larger-than-life experiences
across social media and other interactive platforms that allow everyone to be part of the story.
MJ Balvanera (she/her) is a Graphic Designer from Mexico City based in Los Angeles, CA. She has worked with a variety of start ups as a graphic designer and creative lead including Our Place, Jinx, Byte, DoorDash and fatty15. Her work has also encompassed the non-profit realm, founding Co—Conspirator Press in 2019 and working at the Feminist Center for Creative Work from 2015 to 2021. MJ likes to use design as a tool of communication and expression which supports the brand message.
Daniel Einhorn, MD
Medical Advisor, Endocrinology
Dr. Einhorn is the president of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, medical director of the Scripps Whittier Diabetes Institute and Clinical Professor of Medicine at UCSD. He is an editor and contributor to numerous books and articles, including publications from the American Medical Association and the Royal Society of Medicine, and has been a teacher in graduate medical education throughout the world.