Carmen Sceppa Biography

Carmen Sceppa - Institute for Health Equity and Social Justice Research, Northeastern University

Carmen Sceppa, MD, PhD

Dean, Bouvé College of Health Sciences
Director, PhD Program in Population Health
Professor of Health Sciences

[email protected]


Areas of Expertise

Healthy aging
Health promotion in the lifecycle
Nutrition and physical activity/exercise
Translational research


Dr. Sceppa’s program of research focuses on healthy aging, 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.

Publications – Past Five Years

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;X:1-10. doi:10.1093/geront/gny092.

Lees K, Guthrie B, Henderson E, Jimison H, Castaneda-Sceppa C, Pavel M, Gordon C, Fulmer T. NUCare: Advancing Research on Technological Integration for Self-management in the Aging Population. Nursing Outlook 2018:

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

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. doi:10.1093/geroni/igy007

Todorova I, Turner H, Castaneda-Sceppa C, Young D, Bonner A. “I do it with love”: Engagement in caring for people with dementia. Global Qualitative Nursing Research: 2016;3:1-14. 

Shiyko MP, *Hallinana S, Seif El-Nasr M, Durga S, Castaneda-Sceppa C. Effects of Playing a Serious Computer Game on Body Mass Index & Nutrition Knowledge in Women. Journal of Medical Internet Research 2016;4(1):e8.

*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.

Brooks N, Cadena SM, Cloutier G, Vega Lopez S, Roubenoff R, Castaneda-Sceppa C. Influence of Exercise on the Metabolic Profile Caused by 28 days of Bed Rest with Energy Deficit and Amino Acid Supplementation in Healthy Men. International Journal of Medical Sciences 2014;11(12):1248-1257.

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.