Carmen Castaneda Sceppa

Professor and Director, Graduate Programs in Exercise Science
  • Department of Health Sciences

Résumé/CV:
Phone: 617-373-5543
Email: c.sceppa@neu.edu

Professor Sceppa is Director of Research in the Human Performance and Exercise Laboratory, Director of the Graduate Program in Exercise Science, and Associate Director in the Institute of Urban Health Research and Practice at Bouve College of Health Sciences, Northeastern University. Additionally, she is an adjunct professor of Nutrition at Tufts University, and a Fellow of the Brookdale Foundation and the International Life Sciences Institute.

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 (http://www.northeastern.edu/healthykids). 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 http://www.northeastern.edu/bouve/health-sciences/exercise-science-lab/ 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.

Education/degrees:
M.D., Francisco Marroquin University, Guatemala City. Guatemala
Ph.D., Tufts University, Boston, Massachusetts

Specialization: Aging and gerontology, physical activity and exercise, healthy eating and nutrition science

Major Research Interests:  Healthy aging; Health promotion in the lifecycle; Nutrition and physical activity/exercise community-based interventions; Chronic disease prevention; Translational research

Public Service:

Advisory Committee, Epidemiology, Health & Fitness Group, Cambridge Public Health Department (CPHD), Cambridge, MA

Advisory Committee, FriendshipWorks, Boston, MA

Advisory Committee, Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention and Control Program, Bureau of Community Health Access and Promotion, Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Boston, MA

Advisory Committee, Community Health Education and Literacy Program (CHELP). Center for Community Health Education Research and Service (CCHERS), Boston, MA

Advisory Committee, ABCD Head Start Citywide Health Services, Boston, MA

Latin American Health Public Council, Boston Public Health Commission, Boston, MA

Member, Multicultural Coalition on Aging, Boston, MA

Courses:

  • HSCI 1105: Introduction to Nutrition
  • HLTH 1555: Freshman Honors Seminar in Healthy Aging
  • PHTH 6228: Public Health Nutrition
  • EXSC 6400: Applied Research Methods

 

Selected, Current Research Projects:

  • Healthy Kids, Healthy Futures – funded by Northeastern University and Boston Children’s Hospital
  • Mechanisms of aging and Health: Effect of age and physical activity on skeletal muscle transcriptional adaptations induced by strength training – funded by the Novartis Pharmaceutical Corporation

 

Key Experiential Learning Opportunities for Students (undergraduate and graduate):

  • Service learning opportunities
  • Directed studies
  • Internships
  • Research awards
  • Thesis and dissertations

 

Main Collaborators/Affiliations (outside NEU):

  • Chair, Aging & Chronic Disease Research Interest Section (RIS), American Society for Nutrition (ASN)
  • Member, Network of Minority Research Investigators (NMRI), National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), Washington, DC
  • Data Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB) Member, National Institute on Aging, Division of Geriatrics and Clinical Gerontology, NIH
  • Tufts University, Boston, MA
  • Center for Studies of Sensory Impairments, Aging, and Metabolism (CeSSIAM), Guatemala City, Guatemala