Dr. Carol Janney, PHd, MS - Community Health Researcher, College of Human Medicine MSUCarol Janney, PhD, MS is a Community Health Researcher in the College of Human Medicine at Michigan State University, and Assistant Professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at Michigan State University. Dr. Janney’s faculty position is based in Midland, Michigan, as part of a new effort by MSU’s College of Human Medicine to establish a statewide research network. Her extensive research experience and formal training as an epidemiologist (PhD, MS), applied biostatistician (MS), exercise physiologist (MS), nutritionist and health educator (BS) will be used to develop, implement, and evaluate behavioral studies/interventions aimed to improve the mental and physical health of individuals with mental health issues, their families and their communities.

Dr. Janney was recently awarded a Patient Centered Outcome Research Initiative (PCORI) Tier I Award to ‘Building a Pipeline to improve mental health care, self-management, and outcomes in rural communities (  Participants in the 5 focus groups have provided valuable insights into the needs and challenges that adults living with mental illness face in rural communities. The Mental Health Research Advisory Committees, composed of patients, family and community members, researchers and clinicians, will use the focus group transcripts to guide the development of mental health research that addresses the needs of these rural communities.  

Recently, Dr. Janney’s research has focused on mental health and physical activity. Her doctoral work established that various mental health populations (users of mental health services, overweight and obese adults with schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorders, and adults with bipolar disorder) are extremely sedentary which may contribute to the elevated rates of obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease observed in these populations.  Based on these findings, she designed and successfully implemented physical activity and nutritional interventions for adults with bipolar disorder at a mental health clinic. 

During Dr. Janney’s post-doctoral work at the Ann Arbor VA, she evaluated MOVE!, a nationally implemented weight loss program emphasizing physical activity and nutrition in overweight/obese Veterans.  The primary findings included that Veterans with sleep-disordered breathing lost significantly less weight over time than Veterans without sleep-disordered breathing; weight loss patterns over time did not differ by SMI diagnosis (schizophrenia versus schizoaffective disorder versus bipolar disorder); and initial weight loss was less in  Veterans with SMI compared to Veterans with No SMI.

Dr. Janney earned her BS in Nutritional Sciences from Cornell University (Ithaca, NY), MS degrees in Epidemiology and Exercise Science from University of Massachusetts at Amherst, MS in Biostatistics from the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, MI), and PhD in Epidemiology from the University of Pittsburgh (Pittsburgh, PA).