Jennifer Merickel, PhD

Assistant Professor - Department of Neurological Sciences
Mind & Brain Health Labs

Academic Office:
988440 Nebraska Medical Center
Omaha, NE 68198-8440
Fax: 402-559-3341


Digital health; aging, cognitive, sleep, mobility, mental health, behavioral, and physiologic dysfunction; real-world evidence research; driver state modeling; patient and health outcome prediction; patient safety; disease detection and tracking; wearable and digital sensor clinical modeling.

Dr. Merickel is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Neurological Sciences at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. She co-leads the Mind & Brain Health Labs. Dr. Merickel’s research develops precision health models from remote, digital health biomarkers, like driving and wearable sensor data, to predict acute and progressive clinical, safety and quality of life risk in patient and healthy populations. She is particularly interested in research on aging and neurodegenerative, diabetes, mental health, sleep, mobility, behavioral and physiologic dysfunctions to develop technology that supports patients and makes it easier for doctors to help patients. Her work is strongly collaborative and combines advanced statistical modeling, machine learning, clinical, and public health skills to design targeted, research programs and data-driven models of health from large, complex data. Dr. Merickel received her PhD in Brain and Cognitive Sciences from the University of Rochester where her research focused developing models of multi-modal speech perception, visual attention and learning. Her research has spanned NIH and industry projects.

Selected Publications and Book Chapters:
Barnwal, A., Chakraborty, P., Sharma, A., Riera-Garcia, L., Ozcan, K., Davami, S., Sarkar, S., Rizzo, M., & Merickel, J. (2022). Sugar and stops in drivers with insulin-dependent type 1 diabetes. Accident Analysis & Prevention.

Merickel, J. & Rizzo, M. (2022). Brain on the road. In Marcotte, T., Schmitter-Edgecombe, M., & Grant, I. (Eds.), Neuropsychology of Everyday Functioning, 2nd Edition (pp. 223-262). Guilford Publications, Inc.

Wang, S., Sharma, A., Dawson, J., Rizzo, M., & Merickel, J. (2021). Visual and cognitive impairments differentially affect speed limit compliance in older drivers. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. doi: 10.1111/jgs.17008

Mikuls, T., Merickel, J., Gwon, Y., Sayles, H., Petro, A., Cannella, A., Snow, M., Feely, M., England, B., Michaud, K., & Rizzo, M. (2021). Vehicle control as a measure of real-world driving performance in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Arthritis Care & Research.

Ozcan K., Sharma A., Knickerbocker S., Merickel J., Hawkins N., & Rizzo M. (2020) Road weather condition estimation using fixed and mobile based cameras. In: Arai K., Kapoor S. (eds) Advances in Computer Vision. CVC 2019. Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing, vol 943. Springer, Cham.

Drincic, A., Desouza, C., Rizzo, M., & Merickel, J. (2020). Digital health technologies, diabetes, and driving (meet your new backseat driver). In Klonoff, D. C., Kerr, D., Mulvaney, S. (Eds.), Diabetes digital health (pp. 219-230). Elsevier.

Merickel, J., High, R., Dawson, J., & Rizzo, M. (2019). Real-world risk exposure in older drivers with cognitive and visual dysfunction. Traffic Injury Prevention, 20(sup2), S110-S115. doi: 10.1080/15389588.2019.1688794

Merickel, J., Robin, H., Smith, L., Wichman, C., Frankel, E., Smits, K., Drincic, A., Desouza, C., Gunaratne, P., Ebe, K., & Rizzo, M. (2019). Driving safety and real-time glucose monitoring in insulin-dependent diabetes. International Journal of Automotive Engineering, 10(1), 34-40. doi: 10.20485/jsaeijae.10.1_34