Merrill R. Landers
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Merrill R. Landers, PT, DPT, Ph.D.

Chair and Professor, Cyrus Chung Ying Tang Foundation Research Professor

Integrated Health Sciences
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Merrill Landers is a professor in the department of physical therapy and has been the chair since 2011. He earned a bachelor of science in exercise science from Brigham Young University, a DPT from Creighton University, and a Ph.D. from UNLV in biological sciences (integrative physiology). He is a licensed physical therapist and a Credentialed Fellowship Graduate of the APTA Education Leadership Institute.


  • Fellow – APTA Education Leadership Institute, Alexandria, Virginia
  • Ph.D. in Biological Sciences - Integrative Physiology (Cognates: neurobiology, statistics), University of Nevada, Las Vegas - 2012
  • DPT, Creighton University, Omaha, Nebraska – 1997
  • B.S. in Exercise Science (Minor: Scandinavian Studies), Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah – 1993

Courses Taught

  • DPT 756 Neurophysiology
  • DPT 713 Genomics and Regenerative Rehabilitation
  • HSC 705 Clinical Trial Design and Analysis 

Research Interests

Landers’ current research interests focus on understanding the physical and psychological factors associated with balance impairment and falls among patients with Parkinson’s disease, and mild cognitive impairment. He is currently exploring the relationship between fear of falling and avoidance behavior, and its downstream consequences. He is also exploring the biological mechanisms of exercise and physical activity as a neuroprotective strategy in Parkinson’s disease. He is interested in motor priming using transcranial direct current stimulation to facilitate improved rehabilitation in Parkinson’s disease.