Dean of the College

Carmen Castaneda Sceppa, MD, PhD

Bouvé College of Health Sciences

Dr. Sceppa’s program of research focused on healthy aging is looking to transform the way we think about exercise, from a personal choice to preventive medicine. Her program of research addresses three areas: (1) efficacy of exercise interventions on health risk factor reduction; (2) translation of evidence base exercise interventions to the real world; and (3) development of sustainable strategies for health promotion and optimal health. She targets vulnerable populations including those underserved, frail, chronically ill, and ethnically diverse.

Her research findings have provided evidence-based information used by the Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Medicine to revise the Dietary Recommended Intake for protein in older adults. Her pioneer work on resistance exercise in older adults with kidney disease and diabetes was translated into clinical practice by the American Diabetes Association and adopted as standard of care. In addition, her research findings contributed to the recommendations for physical activity in older adults by the American College of Sports Medicine and the American Heart Association. Funding for Dr. Sceppa’s research include the Brookdale Foundation, the International Life Sciences Institute, the National Institutes of Health, the National Space and Biomedical Research Institute (NSBRI); as well as corporations and foundations.

Dr. Sceppa is co-Principal Investigator of Healthy Kids Healthy Futures, an intergenerational obesity prevention imitative that promotes physical activity and healthy eating in families and day care staff of young children 3-8 years of age . In addition to participatory community-based intervention research, Dr. Sceppa examines mechanisms associated with aging and health. This research is being conducted in the Human Performance and Exercise Science Laboratory she directs at Northeastern University.

Dr. Sceppa’s research findings have been widely published and referenced. They represent a collaborative effort of a transdisciplinary team of investigators, students and fellows. Her research has contributed to advancing the field of healthy aging by providing evidence on the benefits of resistance exercise for multiple health outcomes and disease conditions. More importantly, the knowledge acquired from her evidence base research has informed the development of “real world” community-based interventions and guidelines that bridge the gap between research translation and practice/policy.



  • 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.

Contact Information


215 BK


[email protected]



Curriculum Vitae