Merrill Landers

Chair and Associate Professor, Physical Therapy
Expertise: Physical therapy, Balance assessment and fall prevention, Psychological constructs, Parkinson’s disease, Post-operative rehabilitation, Orthopedic care


Merrill Landers is chair and associate professor for the physical therapy department, within the School of Allied Health Sciences. He is a licensed physical therapist and board-certified clinical specialist in orthopedics, and has doctorates in physical therapy and biological sciences.

Landers has extensive clinical and research experience in orthopedic physical therapy and movement disorders. Much of his research has focused on Parkinson’s disease, for which he has used human and animal models.

His studies have included an analysis of the changes in cervical range of motion following uncomplicated single- and multi-level cervical fusion; active recovery and electro-muscular stimulation on delayed onset muscle soreness after endurance running; and the safety of cervical spine manipulation, specifically if severe adverse events are preventable and manipulations being performed appropriately.

His research has led to more than 40 peer-reviewed publications, including placements in The Spine Journal, Physical Therapy Journal, Behavioural Brain Research, Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, Manual Therapy, Journal of Manual & Manipulative Therapy, Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy, Journal of Neurologic Physical Therapy, and Clinical Journal of Pain.

Landers has earned multiple awards for his research, including the John Medeiros Best Paper Award from the Journal of Manual & Manipulative Therapy; Rose Excellence in Research Award from the Orthopaedic Section of the American Physical Therapy Association, eLayne Library Verve Award for Parkinson’s disease research and the Cyrus Tang Research Award for Parkinson’s disease research.


  • B.S., Exercise Science, Brigham Young University
  • D.P.T., Creighton University
  • Ph.D., Biological Sciences, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
  • Credentialed Fellowship Graduate of the American Board of Physical Therapy Residency and Fellowship Education, American Physical Therapy Association Education Leadership Institute

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Articles Featuring Merrill Landers

Merrill Landers works with balance testing equipment
Research | August 18, 2016

Physical activity can help protect us from Parkinson’s, researcher Merrill Landers says.