David Merrill MD PhD

David A. Merrill, MD, PhD

Director, Brain Health Center; Geriatric Psychiatry

Overview | Location and Contact | Insurance | Frequently Asked Questions

About Dr. David Merrill

About Dr. David Merrill

David A. Merrill, MD, PhD, is a double-board certified adult and geriatric psychiatrist and neuroscientist. He is director of the Pacific Brain Health Center (PBHC) at the Pacific Neuroscience Institute. His practice, educational, and research activity focus on the Precision Brain Health Program (PBHP), applying precision medicine approaches to optimize brain aging in middle-aged and older adults at risk for and with neurodegenerative disorders including Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and Parkinson’s (PD). He also directs the transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) consult service at PBHC for depression and cognition.

Dr. Merrill graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of California, Berkeley, completing a double major with Highest Honors in Psychology and High Honors in Molecular and Cellular Biology. He then completed the National Institutes of Health (NIH) funded Medical Scientist Training Program at the University of California, San Diego. He earned his PhD in Neurosciences at UCSD studying brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) amelioration of age-related cognitive deficits. His graduate studies led to the publication of a seminal work in the field of plasticity and aging in the journal Nature Medicine.

He completed his Adult Psychiatry Residency at the University of California, Los Angeles, School of Medicine which included a final year as program Chief Resident. He then completed a two-year combined clinical and research Geriatric Psychiatry Fellowship at UCLA before joining the faculty. During his 8-years on the full-time UCLA Psychiatry Faculty, Dr. Merrill fulfilled teaching, service, and research roles.

At UCLA, he was nominated multiple times for the annual Resident Teaching Award of Psychiatry trainees for his work supervising in both hospital and clinic-based settings. He was awarded competitive career development awards from both the UCLA Older Adults Independence Center and then the UCLA Center for Translational Science Institute. His work at UCLA examining the brain effects of health lifestyle behaviors (including diet, exercise, and stress reduction) resulted in multiple high-impact publications and wide social media coverage. Dr. Merrill continues to collaborate across institutions as an active member of the UCLA Psychiatry Volunteer Clinical Faculty.

In collaboration with the PNI Founders, Dr. Merrill and his colleagues opened the Pacific Brain Health Center in 2018. Since then, he and PBHC’s multi-disciplinary team have worked continually with patients and families facing age-related neurodegenerative disorders such as AD and PD while carrying out educational and research projects in this area. Through his ongoing study and early adoption of emerging clinical practices and technologies, Dr. Merrill has developed a “precision holistics” approach that combines personalized biomarker data with the best evidenced-based treatments available for alleviating mood disorders and cognitive dysfunction within the context of aging.

Research Interests

  • Precision Medicine
  • Aging and Memory
  • Mood Disorders
  • Fitness and Cognition
  • Alzheimer’s and Related Dementias

Useful Links

Clinic Location

1301 20th St., #150
Santa Monica, CA 90404

In-person and virtual online telehealth appointments available

Accepted Insurance

Medicare, medicaid and most insurance plans are accepted. Please contact us at 310-582-7641 to confirm coverage.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Dr. David Merrill accepting new patients?

No. Dr. Merrill’s practice is full at this time. He is accepting new patients by referral only for Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) and Bredesen Protocol work.

What are Dr. David Merrill’s areas of expertise?

Dr. Merrill’s clinical focus is adult and geriatric psychiatry.

What languages does Dr. David Merrill speak?

Dr. Merrill speaks English.

Is Dr. David Merrill taking telehealth appointments?

While virtual appointments are available at the Brain Health Center, Dr. Merrill’s practice is full at this time.

Where is Dr. David Merrill’s office located?

Dr. Merrill’s offices is located at 1301 20th St., #150, Santa Monica, CA 90404.

  • Medical Degree

    MD - UC San Diego School of Medicine
    PhD - University of California, San Diego-Neurosciences Graduate Program
  • Residency

    Psychiatry, UCLA School of Medicine
  • Fellowship

    Geriatric Psychiatry, UCLA School of Medicine
  • Certifications

    Psychiatry and Neurology, American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology
    Geriatric Psychiatry, American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology