Janet Carpenter received her BSN from Oakland University and her MSN in Adult Nursing, PhD in Nursing Science, and postdoctoral training in behavioral oncology from the University of Kentucky. She was on the faculty at Vanderbilt University before joining the IU School of Nursing faculty in 2003 as associate professor. She was promoted to professor in 2008 and was named the Sally Reahard Chair in 2011. Carpenter also serves as associate dean for research at the IU School of Nursing.
"One of nursing's most valued and eminent distinguished scholars," Dr. Carpenter is considered a "pioneer" in two areas of women's health research: symptom management by breast cancer patients, and the development of improved research methodologies for the measurement of hot flashes. Carpenter was one of the first to demonstrate the added burden of treatment-induced vasomotor symptoms (hot flashes/night sweats) on the physical and psychological well-being of breast cancer patients. Her "daily interference" scale has been adopted, translated and used by investigators in 12 languages world-wide, is recommended by the NIH National Cancer Institute for use in treatment trials, and has served as a core quality-of-life instrument for two large clinical trial networks. In partnership with two different manufacturing companies, she directed efforts to decrease the size and vastly improve (e.g., greater data storage capability, more refined analytic software, and simplified data output) these systems.
At the same time, Dr. Carpenter's work has helped re-direct the field of menopausal symptom assessment and management. Her "landmark studies" and "methodologically ground-breaking research," demonstrated the importance of tailoring laboratory technologies to specific clinical populations in real-time, naturalistic settings. Carpenter is "arguably the leading expert" in developing strategies - medications, dietary supplements, and mind-body therapies - to mitigate or eliminate symptoms. She is "acclaimed for her innovative, substantive, and prolific contributions to women's health research that have revolutionized menopausal symptom assessment and management and improved the lives of midlife women."
Carpenter is the only nurse to lead a clinical site within the NIA/NIH funded national research network called MsFLASH (Menopausal Strategies Finding Lasting Answers to Symptoms and Health). She has had continuous extramural funding (NIH, NINR, NCI, DOD) for the past 15 years. Her 105 publications have been cited more than 3,900 times (h-index of 33). She has received three awards from the Midwest Nursing Research Society, three awards from the Oncology Nursing Society, the North American Menopause Society's Vasomotor Symptoms Research Award, the Outstanding Nurse Scientist Award of the Council for Advancement of Nursing Research, was inducted as a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing, and was named the 2014 Outstanding Nurse Scientist by the Council for the Advancement of Nursing Science. Dr. Carpenter is an "award-winning master mentor," and her doctoral students and postdoctoral fellows have gone on to investigate other problematic symptoms: lymphedema, sleep disturbances, pain, and diminished cognitive functioning.
In 2020, Janet Carpenter was presented the Bicentennial Medal for her distinguished service to Indiana University.