Kara Palamountain is a Research Assistant Professor at the Kellogg School of Management where she serves as the Executive Director of the school’s Global Health Initiative. Kara's research focus is centered on medical diagnostics for infectious diseases in the developing world.
In 2003, she began working with Dave Kelso on an initiative to develop and produce affordable HIV diagnostics for the developing world which later obtained funding in 2006 from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF). In support of this BMGF grant, Kara conducted an extensive trip across nine countries and forty HIV clinics throughout Africa to identify and prioritize the HIV diagnostics that the Kelso laboratory should focus. Her team deployed and adapted several marketing research techniques, including conjoint analysis and product concept testing, to help further define the appropriate product requirements for resource limited settings.
In addition to defining high priority HIV diagnostic products and their respective specifications, Kara has also played a crucial role in identifying the more strategic aspects of introducing a new HIV diagnostic into a resource limited setting. Most recently, she taught a class at Kellogg dedicated to medical product development in resource limited settings. Following the 10 week course and a 2 week research trip to a developing country, the class develops a market entry plan for the specific HIV product for that country. This market entry plan includes a detailed assessment of how medical products are approved, purchased, operated, distributed, and serviced in that country. Her student teams have conducted market entry analysis in Botswana, Brazil, Cambodia, China, India, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Vietnam and Zambia.
Prior to her work at Kellogg, Kara worked as a management consultant in Deloitte's Healthcare practice for over six years where she helped clients identify and implement initiatives to become more operationally and cost effective.