Headshot of Merrill R. Landers, PT, DPT, PhD, OCS

Merrill R. Landers, PT, DPT, PhD, OCS

Chair and Professor, Cyrus Chung Ying Tang Foundation Research Professor
Department(s): Integrated Health Sciences
Office: BHS 308
Mail Code: 3029
Phone: 702-895-1377
Fax: 702-895-4883
Email: merrill.landers@unlv.edu


Merrill Landers is a professor in the department of physical therapy and has been the chair since 2011. He earned a BS in Exercise Science from Brigham Young University, a DPT from Creighton University, and a PhD from UNLV in Biological Sciences (Integrative Physiology with cognates in neurobiology and statistics). He is a licensed physical therapist and an ABPTS Certified Specialist in Orthopedics. He is also a Credentialed Fellowship Graduate of the APTA Education Leadership Institute.


  • Fellow – APTA Education Leadership Institute, Alexandria, Virginia
  • PhD 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 746 Neuroanatomy
  • DPT 746L Neuroanatomy lab
  • DPT 756 Neurophysiology
  • DPT 713 Genomics and Regenerative Rehabilitation
  • HSC 705 Clinical Trial Design and Analysis 

Research Interests

Dr. 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 and how this is moderated by a single nucleotide polymorphism of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (Val66Met). He is interested in motor priming using transcranial direct current stimulation to facilitate improved rehabilitation in Parkinson’s disease. Dr. Landers has additional interests in vestibulo-ocular reflex function in concussion and orthopedic issues related to the spine.