Ericka N. Merriwether
Ericka N. Merriwether, PT, DPT, PhD is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Physical Therapy and is the Director of the Inclusive and Translational Research in Pain Laboratory (I-TRIP). Dr. Merriwether earned her Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She earned her clinical doctorate in physical therapy (DPT) from the Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences, and her PhD in Movement Science from Washington University in St. Louis.
Dr. Merriwether’s research examines mechanisms underlying the pathophysiology of chronic musculoskeletal pain in adult bariatric populations. Her work utilizes a novel integration of basic science, clinical pain assessment, and motion analysis methods to the study of pain mechanisms and management that address the unique needs of adults with obesity. Dr. Merriwether's current projects include the characterization of the anti-nociceptive functions of interleukin-5, and the role of adipose tissue inflammation and metabolism in chronic widespread pain in adults with obesity. Additionally, Dr. Merriwether has an additional line of research that examines relationships between chronic pain and racial discrimination in racially and ethnically diverse populations of adults with obesity.
Prior to her faculty appointment, Dr. Merriwether was a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science at the University of Iowa. Her research has been supported by the National Institutes of Health and the Foundation for Physical Therapy. She is currently a member of the American Physical Therapy Association and the American Pain Society. Dr. Merriwether has received several scholarships and awards, most recently the Wangari Maathai Graduate Service Award from Washington University in St. Louis, and induction into the Edward Bouchet Graduate Honors co-sponsored by Yale University and Howard University.