Carmen Castaneda Sceppa, MD, PhD, FGSA

Dean of the College

Bouve College of Health Sciences, Dean's Office, Institute on Urban Health Research

Office: 215 BK

Email: [email protected]

Phone: 617.373.5543

View Résumé/CV


Carmen Castañeda Sceppa, MD, PhD, FGSA, is the Dean of Bouvé College of Health Sciences and Professor of Health Sciences at Northeastern University.

Dr. Sceppa received her medical degree from Francisco Marroquín University in Guatemala City, Guatemala, where she was born and raised. She received her PhD in Nutrition from The Gerald J. and Dorothy R. Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University in Boston, Massachusetts.

Dr. Sceppa is a clinician, researcher, educator, mentor, and leader. Her work centers around advancing and prolonging health for all. Her research seeks to understand the role of lifestyle interventions on advancing overall health and quality of life. She examines health and wellness in settings that promote physical activity among underserved and vulnerable populations, specifically, older adults and the elderly, particularly Hispanics and African Americans. Dr. Sceppa’s research has provided evidence-based information to transform the way we think about healthy lifestyle from personal choice to preventive medicine.

Continued funding for Dr. Sceppa’s translational program of research includes funding from the Brookdale Foundation, the International Life Sciences Institute, the National Institutes of Health(NIA, NINR, NIDDK, NHLBI), the National Space and Biomedical Research Institute (NSBRI), as well as corporations and foundations such as Novartis, Departments of Public Health, and Boston Ch ildren’s Hospital.

Dr. Sceppa serves as senior faculty mentor for the Network of Minority Research Investigators (NMRI) at the National Institutes of Health. She is an active and long-time member and contributor of the Gerontological Society of America (GSA) and is a GSA Fellow. In 2021, Dr. Sceppa is the Treasurer (2022-2025) of the GSA Board of Directors. She also serves as Faculty Mentor for the Gerontological Society of America (GSA) Career Development & Mentoring Technical Assistance Workshop. She is an active member of the American Society for Nutrition.


  • M.D., Francisco Marroquin University, Guatemala City. Guatemala
  • Ph.D., Tufts University, Boston, Massachusetts


Research Interests

  • Healthy aging, health promotion in the lifecycle, nutrition and physical activity/exercise, translational research


Selected Honors & Awards

  • 2021–2025 Treasurer-Elect and Treasurer, Gerontological Society of America (GSA) Board of Directors
  • 2019 Fellow (Health Sciences Section), Gerontological Society of America (FGSA)
  • 2019 Bouvé PACT – Pathway to Academic Careers and Training, Faculty Innovations Award, Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion, Northeastern University
  • 2018 Faculty Mentor, NIA/GSA Diversity Mentoring and Career Development Technical Assistance Workshop
  • 2017 Network of Minority Health Research Investigators (NIDDK/NIH) Medallion in recognition of highest commitment to improve our understanding of minority health.
  • 2015 Faculty of the Year, Department of Residential Life, Northeastern University, Boston, MA


Selected Recent Publications

  • Reilly ED, Robinson SA, Petrakis BA, Gardner MM, Wiener RS, Castaneda-Sceppa C, Quigley KS. Mobile Intervention to Improve Sleep and Functional Health of Veterans with Insomnia. International Journal of Medical Research: in press.
  • Saksono H, Hoffman J, Seif El-Nasr M, Morris V, Castaneda-Sceppa C, Parker A. StoryMap: Using Social Modeling and Self-Modeling for Supporting Physical Activity Among Low-SES Families. Conference on Human Factors in Computing: in press. To appear in CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems Proceedings (CHI 2021). ACM, New York, NY
  • Hoffman JA, Schmidt EM, Arguello DJ, Eyllon MN, Castaneda-Sceppa C, Cloutier G, Hillman CH. Online Preschool Teacher Training to Promote Physical Activity: A Pilot Cluster Randomized Controlled Trial. School Psychology 2020;35(2):118-127.
  • Saksono H, Castaneda-Sceppa C, Hoffman J, Seif El-Nasr M, Morris V, Parker A. Social Reflections on Fitness Tracking Data: A Study with Families in Low-SES Neighborhoods. Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems 2019:1-14.
  • Matz-Costa C, Howard E, Castaneda-Sceppa C, Antonia Diaz-Valdes Iriarte, Lachman ME. Peer-based strategies to support physical activity interventions for older adults: A typology, conceptual framework, and practice guidelines. The Gerontologist 2018:1-10. doi:10.1093/geront/gny092.
  • Lachman ME, Lipsitz L, Lubben J, Carmen Castaneda-Sceppa, Jette AM. When Adults Don’t Exercise: Behavioral Strategies to Increase Physical Activity in Sedentary Middle-Aged and Older Adults. Innovation in Aging 2018;2(1):1–12.
  • Saksono H, Castaneda-Sceppa C, Hoffman J, Seif El-Nasr M, Morris V, Parker A. Family Health Promotion in Low-SES Neighborhoods: A Two-Month Study of Wearable Activity Tracking. Human Factors in Computing Systems 2018: doi.10.1145/3173574.3173883
  • Saksono H, Ranade A, Kamarthi G, Castaneda-Sceppa C, Hoffman J, Wirth C, Parker A. Spaceship Launch: Designing a Collaborative Exergame for Families. Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing 2015:1776-1787.
  • Castaneda-Sceppa C, Hoffman JA, Thomas J, DuBois M, Agrawal T, Griffin D, Bhaumik U, Healey CL, Dickerson D, Nethersole S, Wirth C. Family Gym: A Model to Promote Physical Activity for Families with Young Children. Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved 2014;25(3):1101-1107.
  • Todorova I, Tejada S, Castaneda-Sceppa C. “Let’s Stretch Life a Bit”: Perspectives of Puerto Rican Adults about Heart Health and a potential Community Program. American Journal of Health Education 2014;45(2):76-85.