Karen J. Coleman, PhD, MS

Research Scientist III

Division of Health Services Research & Implementation Science




Dr. Karen Coleman studies the behavioral, social, and environmental determinants of success after weight loss surgery. An additional focus of her research is on interventions in primary care settings for adult depression. Dr. Coleman’s main areas of interest are health equity and the study of factors at the level of the patient, the provider, and the system that lead to successful interventions for physical and emotional wellness.

Dr. Coleman directs one of the largest weight loss registries in the United States that is used for both patient care and research. She also directs a population management registry for the Kaiser Permanente Southern California depression care management program. She has a half-time appointment in Kaiser Permanente Southern California Clinical Operations, where she serves on the regional leadership teams for bariatric surgery and depression care.

Areas of Focus

  • Implementation research
  • Mental health
  • Health equity
  • Weight loss surgery


PhD, MS, Biopsychology
University of Georgia
Athens, Georgia
BS, Zoology
Washington State University
Pullman, Washington

Honors and Awards

  • Member, Health Services Organization and Delivery Study Section, National Institutes of Health
  • Editorial Board, Surgery for Obesity and Related Diseases
  • Editorial Board, Obesity Surgery