Kat Jones serves as the Director of Strategy and Mission/s for the Design Institute for Health, a radical collaboration between the Dell Medical School and the College of Fine Arts at the University of Texas at Austin. Kat shapes and articulates the Design Institute’s strategy by developing distinct experiences, perspectives, and conversations within Dell Med and across our community that build and establish the role of design in health in a manner that enhances Dell Medical School’s culture and missions. Kat also leads key engagements that advance the culture, capabilities, and impact of the Design Institute. Kat serves as the Design and Communications Lead on the Austin State Hospital Brain Health Redesign.
Trained as a medical illustrator, Kat works to understand complex concepts and then to translate those into a story for many to comprehend. Kat’s expertise lies in finding the radical clarity by sorting large amounts of information, listening deeply, recognizing patterns, and then pinpointing the “surgical moments” or defining elements of an organization which can then translate into language and experiences that express the organization’s story.
Kat joined the Design Institute from Milkshake, a strategy and brand consultancy she founded in 1999 which has created and shaped brands for nonprofits, government, corporations, and movements including LIVESTRONG, Populous, Generation TX, National Co-op Grocers. The path from medical illustration to strategy started in the 1990s when Kat worked in 3D visualization producing animations, illustrations, and interactive experiences for clients such as The Smithsonian, Merck, Glaxo, Hasbro, and Mattel. Just before starting Milkshake, Katherine worked on several films including the title sequence for Fight Club, and concept designs for The Cell and Minority Report.
Katherine graduated from the University of Michigan with a BFA in Fine Arts and a BGS in Zoology and earned an MA from The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Biological and Medical Illustration.