Catherine Carpenter

Dr. Catherine Carpenter received her doctoral training in Epidemiology at UCLA. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship in Preventive Medicine at USC where she studied lifetime exercise, obesity, and breast cancer risk and prognosis. After completing her postdoc, she started at UC Irvine as an Assistant Professor in Cancer Epidemiology where she continued her studies in breast and lung cancer and further developed a focus on obesity and nutrition. She started at the UCLA Center for Human Nutrition in 2003 and has since broadened her research to include studies of food addiction, genetics, and the role of nutrition in the prevention and recovery from infectious diseases. Dr. Carpenter has conducted the design and analysis of several randomized nutritional intervention trials using clinic and population sampling. Dr. Carpenter also has appointments in Medicine and Nursing as well as in Epidemiology. Dr. Carpenter will be teaching Nutritional Epidemiology.


  • PhD, Epidemiology, minor, Biostatistics, University of California, Los Angeles, CA
  • MPH, Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of California, Berkeley, CA
  • BA, Zoology, University of California, Berkeley, CA
  • Postdoctoral Fellowship in Preventive Medicine, Keck School of Medicine at USC, Los Angeles, CA

Areas of Interest

My current research areas include: development of diet and exercise intervention studies for breast cancer prevention; the effect of protein on recovery from malnutrition, muscle wasting and HIV; the influence of candidate genes associated with appetite and food craving in development of obesity; and lung cancer prevention through dietary consumption of cruciferous vegetables. Future research directions include studies of macronutrient and micronutrient intake, malnutrition and infectious disease, and development of epidemiologic methods to account for dietary compensation in nutritional trials.

Selected Publications

  • Nyamathi A, Sinha S, Ganguly KK, Suresh P, Carpenter CL. Impact of protein supplementation and care and support on body composition and CD4 count among HIV-infected women living in rural India: results from a randomized pilot clinical trial using trained village women. AIDS and Behav, 2013, epub, DOI 10.1007/s10461-013-0420-5.
  • Carpenter CL, Yan E, Chen S, Hong K, Arechiga A, Kim WS, Deng ML, Arteaga J, Li Z, Heber D. Body fat and body-mass index among a multi-ethnic sample of college-age men and women. J Obesity, 2013, vol. 2013, Article ID 790654, 7 pages. doi:10.1155/2013/790654.
  • Carpenter CL, Wong AM, Li, Z, Noble EP, Heber D. Association of D2 dopamine receptor and leptin receptor genes with clinically severe obesity. Obesity, 2012, epub, DOI 10.1002/oby.20202.
  • Carpenter CL, Duvall K, Jardack P, Li L, Henning SM, Li Z, Heber D. Weight loss reduces breast ductal fluid estrogens in obese postmenopausal women: a single arm intervention pilot study.  Nutrition Journal, 2012,11:102.
  • Robbins W, Xun L, Fitzgerald LZ, Esguerra S, Henning SM, Carpenter CL. Walnuts improve semen quality in men consuming a western-style diet: randomized control dietary intervention trial. Biol Reprod. 2012, 87:101.  
  • Ma H, Carpenter CL, Sullivan-Halley J, Bernstein L. The roles of herbal remedies and quality of life among long-term breast cancer survivors – results of a prospective study. BMC Cancer, 2011;11:222.
  • Carpenter CL, Ganz PA, Bernstein L. Complementary and alternative therapies among very long-term breast cancer survivors. Br Cancer Res Treat, 2009;116:387-396.
  • Carpenter CL, Yu MC, London SJ. Dietary isothiocyanates, glutathione S-transferase M1 (GSTM1), and lung cancer risk in African Americans and Caucasians from Los Angeles County, California. Nutr Cancer, 2009;61:492-499.
  • Tsou JA, Kazarian M, Patel A, Galler JS, Laird-Offringa IA, Carpenter CL, London SJ. Low level anti-Hu reactivity: A risk marker for small cell lung cancer? Cancer Detect Prev, 2009:32:292-299.