Madeleine Scammell

Madeleine L. Scammell, DSc

Associate Professor, Environmental Health - Boston University School of Public Health


Dr. Scammell is an Associate Professor of Environmental Health at Boston University School of Public Health and a JPB Environmental Health Fellow at Harvard School of Public Health. Her expertise is in the area of community-driven and community-based participatory research and includes the use of qualitative methods in the area of environmental health and epidemiologic studies. In 2017 Dr. Scammell was awarded an NIEHS/NIH Outstanding New Environmental Scientist award, establishing the Mesoamerican Nephropathy Occupational Study (MANOS), longitudinal study of agricultural workers in El Salvador and Nicaragua. These efforts are focused on identifying and preventing exposures that may contribute to the epidemic of chronic kidney disease in Central America known as Mesoamerican Nephropathy (MeN), specifically extreme heat and physical exertion, exposure to the herbicide glyphosate, and heavy metals. in 2021 Dr. Scammell was awarded a U01 to establish a Field Epidemiology Site as part of the NIDDK/NIEHS/Fogarty Institute CURE Consortium studying chronic kidney disease of uncertain etiology in agricultural communities. Both studies are part of the Boston University Research Group for the study of Chronic Kidney Disease in Central America and include long term research relationships with investigators in both El Salvador and Nicaragua. Locally, Dr. Scammell co-leads the Chelsea & East Boston Heat Study, C-HEAT, examining exposure to heat and poor air quality, where we live, work and play. This is in partnership with GreenRoots, Chelsea, a grassroots environmental justice organization. Dr. Scammell led the Community Engagement Cores of two research centers: The Boston University Superfund Research Center (funded by NIEHS/NIH), and the Center for Research on Social and Environmental Stressors in Housing across the Lifecourse (joint center between Boston University and Harvard-Chan School of Public Health funded by NIMHD/NIH and EPA). She continues to develop and support mechanisms to initiate and sustain long-and short-term research relationships between community groups and scientists, and respond to community requests for scientific assistance. Dr. Scammell partners with Alternatives for Community & Environment, Boston Housing Authority, the Boston Public Health Commission. Dr. Scammell served of the Board of Health in the City of Chelsea for 10 years, and currently serves as Chair of the board of directors of the Science & Environmental Health Network. She teaches an upper level course, PH 801, Community-Engaged Research: Theory, application and methods, and previously taught Environmental Health Science, Law and Policy (EH 805) and Foundations of Environmental Health (EH 717). In 2014 Dr. Scammell co-edited with Charles Levenstein, The Toxic Schoolhouse, published by Baywood Press (now Routledge).


  • Boston University School of Public Health, DSc Field of Study: Environmental Health
  • University of Vermont, BA Field of Study: Environmental Studies

Classes Taught

  • SPHPH801


  • Published on 7/12/2022

    Tomsho KS, Polka E, Chacker S, Queeley D, Alvarez M, Scammell MK, Emmons KM, Rudd RE, Adamkiewicz G. A process for creating data report-back tools to improve equity in environmental health. Environ Health. 2022 Jul 12; 21(1):67. PMID: 35821055.

    Read At: PubMed
  • Published on 7/7/2022

    Keogh SA, Leibler JH, Sennett Decker CM, Amador Velázquez JJ, Jarquin ER, Lopez-Pilarte D, Garcia-Trabanino R, Delgado IS, Petropoulos ZE, Friedman DJ, Amador Sánchez MR, Guevara R, McClean MD, Brooks DR, Scammell MK. High prevalence of chronic kidney disease of unknown etiology among workers in the Mesoamerican Nephropathy Occupational Study. BMC Nephrol. 2022 07 07; 23(1):238. PMID: 35794550.

    Read At: PubMed
  • Published on 2/16/2022

    Tomsho KS, Polka E, Chacker S, Queeley D, Alvarez M, Scammell MK, Emmons KM, Rudd RE, Adamkiewicz G. Characterizing the Environmental Health Literacy and Sensemaking of Indoor Air Quality of Research Participants. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2022 02 16; 19(4). PMID: 35206415.

    Read At: PubMed
  • Published on 6/5/2021

    Polka E, Childs E, Friedman A, Tomsho KS, Claus Henn B, Scammell MK, Milando CW. MCR: Open-Source Software to Automate Compilation of Health Study Report-Back. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021 06 05; 18(11). PMID: 34198866.

    Read At: PubMed
  • Published on 5/26/2021

    Walker ED, Lee NF, Scammell MK, Feuer AP, Power MB, Lane KJ, Adamkiewicz G, Levy JI. Descriptive characterization of sound levels in an environmental justice city before and during a global pandemic. Environ Res. 2021 08; 199:111353. PMID: 34048746.

    Read At: PubMed
  • Published on 5/19/2021

    Petropoulos ZE, Ramirez-Rubio O, Scammell MK, Laws RL, Lopez-Pilarte D, Amador JJ, Ballester J, O'Callaghan-Gordo C, Brooks DR. Climate Trends at a Hotspot of Chronic Kidney Disease of Unknown Causes in Nicaragua, 1973-2014. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021 05 19; 18(10). PMID: 34069421.

    Read At: PubMed
  • Published on 2/19/2021

    Chicas R, Xiuhtecutli N, Dickman NE, Flocks J, Scammell MK, Steenland K, Hertzberg V, McCauley L. Cooling Interventions Among Agricultural Workers: Qualitative Field-Based Study. Hisp Health Care Int. 2021 09; 19(3):174-181. PMID: 33601922.

    Read At: PubMed
  • Published on 1/1/2021

    Schollaert C, Alvarez M, Gillooly S, Tomsho K, Bongiovanni R, Chacker S, Aguilar T, Vallarino J, Adamkiewicz G, Scammell MK. Reporting Results of a Community-Based In-Home Exposure Monitoring Study: Developing Methods and Materials. Prog Community Health Partnersh. 2021; 15(1):117-125. PMID: 33775967.

    Read At: PubMed
  • Published on 12/24/2020

    Chicas R, Xiuhtecutli N, Elon L, Scammell MK, Steenland K, Hertzberg V, McCauley L. Cooling Interventions Among Agricultural Workers: A Pilot Study. Workplace Health Saf. 2021 Jul; 69(7):315-322. PMID: 33357122.

    Read At: PubMed
  • Published on 10/1/2020

    Petropoulos ZE, Laws RL, Amador JJ, López-Pilarte D, Kaufman JS, Weiner D, Ramirez-Rubio O, Brooks DR, McClean MD, Scammell MK. . Kidney Function, Self-Reported Symptoms, and Urine Findings in Nicaraguan Sugarcane Workers. Kidney360. 2020; 1:1042-1051.

News & In the Media